Police deny taking too long to get to Mappin &Webb

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Force claims officers arrived on the scene within two minutes of call.

Police have denied claims that officers took 25 minutes to reach the Old Bond Street Mappin & Webb store as it was attacked by a smash-and-grab gang on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said that police officers arrived at the store two minutes after receiving an emergency call from a member of the public. However, witnesses have described the raid on the jewellers lasting up to 10 minutes as one of the thieves smashed through the reinforced glass with a sledgehammer while others kept a look out.

Scotland Yard said that police were called at 11.17am and alerted to the incident and by 11.18am a PCSO called in to report that they had begun to pursue the suspects on foot. By 11.20am details of the motorbikes used by the gang had been circulated and by 11.21am officers in a response car had begun to pursue the suspects in the direction of Duke Street before losing sight of them in Wimbourne Street. Air support was also in attendance.

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It is as yet unclear whether staff at the store made an emergency call to police. Aurum, which owns the Mappin & Webb chain, declined to comment at this time but said it is working closely with the police.

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