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Slow police response slamed by Mum of attacked Helston student Adam Cooper

By West Briton  |  Posted: March 14, 2013

By Beverley Coumbe

  • Adam Cooper, 17 and mum Michelle who has hit out at the police response to an assault on her son. Picture by Keith Richards. TRKR20130305C-001_C

  • Student Adam Cooper, 17, who was the victim of an attack in Helston.

  • Adam Cooper, 17, holds up his blood stained jacket - he was attacked during a night out in Helston Picture by Keith Richards. TRKR20130305C-003_C

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THE mother of a Helston teenager attacked on a night out has accused local police of not acting quickly enough to investigate.

Helston Community College student Adam Cooper, 17, suffered a broken nose and black eye when he and two friends were set upon by a gang in Meneage Street.

His mother, Michelle, said Adam returned home in the early hours covered in blood and concussed.

The next day she tried to report the crime at Helston's police station, but was told to use the 101 non-emergency hotline.

Disgusted after several calls to 101 and waiting more than three days for an officer to deal with the incident, she complained to new Police and Crime Commissioner, Tony Hogg.

In January Mr Hogg called for improvements to 101, which was rolled out across all forces in September to make it easier for the public to report crime, saying it was taking too long for callers to be dealt with.

Mrs Cooper wrote to Mr Hogg: "This was a completely unprovoked attack, and two of his friends were also assaulted. The injuries to my son's face are so severe that the hospital is unable to X-ray and treat him, due to the amount of swelling. It is most likely that surgery will be required to repair the damage to his nose.

"This was a serious assault on a child. I attempted to attend Helston Police Station early on Sunday morning to report this act of violence. There were five police vehicles parked outside, but apparently there was no one available to help."

Officers interviewed her son four days after the assault, on Thursday.

She added: "This is an absolute disgrace. These thugs are still roaming the town. What a fabulous deterrent ... who will be next?

"What has happened to my son is a serious offence, and with the best will in the world I find it very hard to believe that all the police officers in the Kerrier area were dealing with more serious crimes than this."

Devon and Cornwall Police apologised for not responding to Mrs Cooper within 24 hours of the incident being logged using the 101 number.

A spokesman said: "The issue is whether the incident is still happening and needs prompt attention. If the incident is over and there is no likelihood of immediate arrest and evidence not being lost then it comes down to priorities. It doesn't mean that the crime is less important. It comes down to conflicting demands as long as it is dealt with appropriately."

PC Jamie Hibbert, leading the investigation, said the attack on all three teenagers was "unprovoked" and inquiries were continuing. Anyone with information is urged to call 101, quoting crime reference AH13/268.

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  • paracommandoG  |  March 14 2013, 4:44PM

    Please could Ms Coumbe learn to spell 'slammed' correctly befor getting slammed in turn for rushing to publish or rint without a spell-checker? One wonders at police irony; having taken a bucket-load of criticism for the tardy response to the report of an assault on their 101 call service, they then ask witnesses or those with information to contact them using...101 - the same number that elicits a police response on four days. Fills one with confidence that, doesn't it? Mrs Cooper should at least recognise that a fairly well fed 17 year old youth is a 'minor' - that is, not an adult, and not a child. Although technically correct, he is her child, he is not however a child; he is a matter of weeks away from becoming an adult. Her view of her son no doubt also reflects her view of the crime, and one can symthapise with the police who do have to prioritise slender resources in the face of over-wrought and over-protective mothers. A strapping 17 year old and his mates are 'children'? I don't think so, just as the police obviosuly did not. There were on a 'night out' - which possibly includes consuming alcohol or some other substances - and may have been noisy or provocative to others on similar nights out. One thing leads to another - those whose mums who go to the police are never going to admit their part in instigating proceedings to their mum or the police - and you have an exchange of punches. This is what can happen on 'nights out'. Mum needs to get used to it if sonny-jim is allowed out on the town at night at age 17. Time for the lads to 'man up'. This is a bit of a non-story.

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