IN responding to a complaint from a constituent regarding anti-social behaviour that was occurring in Little Lever, I rang 101 to report it and hopefully to get a police response.

It took six minutes to get through and after a brief conversation they agreed to put me through to the GMP control room.

The phone rang and rang and rang interspersed with messages about call handlers being busy and how I could contact GMP via its website.

Just for the hell of it, I allowed it to carry on ringing. Finally after 55 minutes I gave up.

I would have minded less if someone had answered and said I had no chance of a response because officers were busy on more serious matters.

If GMP think that this is an acceptable level of service then they are deluded. No wonder people just ring 999 which in itself makes the problem worse.

The closure of the custody suite at Foley Street can only mean that the few officers that may be around will be taken out of availability for hours longer by having to trail to Wigan etc with detainees.

I think that the reduction in level of service particularly in Neighbourhood Policing has now dipped below that which can have the confidence of the public. It’s even more galling because the Council Tax Precept for this service rises year on year.

It is time for a public debate about this and Andy Burnham whose responsibility it is had better start coming up with some proper answers.

Councillor Paul Richardson

Ripon Close

Little Lever