Cambridgeshire Police record crimes on paper as IT fails

A power failure at police headquarters in Cambridgeshire affected "vital systems" for hours, the force has admitted.

The crime reporting database was affected by the problem and was not fully restored until 48 hours later.

It arose when computers failed during scheduled electrical work on Sunday evening.

Cambridgeshire Police admitted a number of reported crimes had to be recorded on paper.

A spokesman said "vital" control room systems were restored "within hours" and frontline policing was unaffected.

'Not good enough'

"The problems arose following a scheduled power down at force HQ to allow the fitting of a voltage optimisation unit that will make the building more efficient and save the force an estimated £15,000 to £20,000 a year," he said.

He said 95% of the systems affected were restored by Monday lunchtime and all services were restored by Tuesday evening.

"Crimes continued to be recorded during this time and the system was updated once restored," he said.

However, one victim of crime, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the BBC she had reported a burglary and was told an officer would turn up within an hour.

When the police did not arrive, she was told the system was down and a direct call could not be placed to the nearest police station.

"The service was not good enough," she said. "It did affect victims, it affected us".

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