A MOTHER has described her embarrasment and concern at having to report her teenage daughter missing over a police intercom system in a public street.
Susan Sutcliffe, 40, of Portland Mews, only yards from Bridlington police station became worried about her 15-year-old daughter who had gone missing from her eldest daughter’s home in Horsforth Avenue, Bridlington.
As it was practically on her doorstep she went to Bridlington police station in Ashville Street last Thurday at around 9.50pm to report the matter but was shocked to find it had closed at 8pm.
“There was a notice saying press the intercom button, which I did, I did not know the procedure and half expected someone would come to the door and let us in.
“Once you have pushed that button you are committed, so I had to go through giving all the details in the street,” said Mrs Sutcliffe.
She said she and her elder daughter Rebecca Hirst, 21, spent around 20 minutes talking to an officer at the force control centre in Hessle.
“It was like talking on a loud speaker in the open street for any passer-by to hear. I had to give descriptions of my daughter, personal information about almost every family member whilst I stood in the street. Anyone would have known there was a vulnerable 15-year old missing and would have her name and description,” said Mrs Sutcliffe, who believes there should be a better system.
Fortunately police traced her teenage daughter to an address in Leeds.
“Surely there could be a booth room with a phone accessible out of hours, alternatively why couldn’t they have told me to return home and they would contact me there?” she asked.
A spokesman for Humberside police confirmed they had been told of the missing girl at 9.52 that evening and she was subsequently found safe and well in Leeds.
“In this instance, because of the potentially urgent nature of the call, the call taker decided it best to get as much detail as possible at the earliest opportunity, which meant it was from the outside phone at the police station,” said the spokesperson.
A mobile phone number was taken in case the call ran out, and police say people can report crimes at the station during open hours. Bridlington, like many others in the region, is not open 24 hours a day.
It operates from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday. It is closed between 1pm-2pm each day. The public can contact police via the emergency number, 999, or non-emergency number, 0845 60 60 222.