A van owner has described the police as a “joke” after they said they wouldn’t investigate an attempted break-in – even though he said his vehicle is littered with fingerprints.

Jamie Miller was at a function with his twelve-year-old son at the Mercure Hotel, on the A41 near Bushey, on Sunday night, when someone tried forcing their way into his van which was parked in the car park.

The door handle had been ripped but fortunately for Mr Miller, the would-be-thief wasn’t able to complete the job and get inside.

Borehamwood Times:

The handle has been ripped away by the would-be thief

When Mr Miller, who lives in Watford, called the police, he was told by an officer they wouldn’t come down and investigate.

This was despite the victim telling him he was ‘110 ten per cent sure’ prints swiped across the bottom of the van were of the suspect.

The police’s refusal to see him has left him seething.

Borehamwood Times:

Mr Miller is adamant these markings are new and were as a result of the person who tried to break into his van

Mr Miller said: It’s a joke really as there is a spike in this type of crime. You can physically see where the fingers have been. They are definitely their's as no one touches the van that low.

“The police are missing a trick not coming down but the criminals know they won’t bother attending. I’d happily take my van down to the police station but they categorically told me they wouldn’t take fingerprints.

“I don’t think the police understand the seriousness of having the things in your van stolen. It takes your livelihood away. It’s happening everywhere. I’ve heard of reports in Croxley Green, Watford, and South Oxhey. These thieves are the scum of the earth and if they are successful they can wipe a business out. I think the police’s response is an absolute disgrace. This person who tried to break into my van could be a prolific thief.”

Police say theft from motor vehicle offences are "unlikely" to bring clear forensic opportunity.

A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “When deploying our forensic resources we need to ensure that we are doing so as efficiently and effectively as possible. To achieve this we routinely assess the value that forensic work brings, and through this work it became clear that in relation to theft from motor vehicle offences, unless there is clear forensic opportunity, it is unlikely that an actionable forensic identification will be obtained.

“Prior to the introduction of a triage system, research was carried out to assess which types of crime gave the best forensic opportunity. With theft from motor vehicle the return was low compared with other crime types, such as examining a recovered stolen vehicle. The reason for this being the limited contact the offenders have at the respective scenes – clearly there will be more forensic opportunity when offenders have been within a vehicle for a protracted period.

“In this instance, the crime report was triaged in line with our Force policy and it was established that it would not be proportionate to send a scenes of crime officer (SOCO) to conduct further enquiries. A member of our SOCO team spoke with the victim at length to explain how and why this decision was made.

“We can entirely understand the victim’s frustration in this instance but we would like to reassure him that officers are conducting further enquiries regarding this incident and the investigation is still very much ongoing.”