Page last updated at 17:43 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 18:43 UK

Police 'sorry' over slow response

Amy Overend

The Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire has apologised for the delay

The Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire has apologised after officers took four hours to respond to a call from two nurses being threatened by intruders.

Julie Spence said there was "no excuse" for the poor handling of the incident.

Amy Overend and a friend made an emergency call to police after four men came into their building threatening them with violence and rape.

The nurses, who are flatmates, locked themselves inside their hospital accommodation in Peterborough.

'Secondary emergency'

The men continued shouting abuse outside the building and the women made a second 999 call.

One of them then phoned her father who called the police control room at least three times.

A police officer arrived more than four hours after their first emergency call which was made at 2000 BST.

The nurses were told they were a "secondary emergency" because they could lock themselves in their rooms.

The Chief Constable has called for an urgent investigation into what happened on 3 August and has since apologised for the police's "misreading" of the situation.

Amy Overend's father, Chris, a former magistrate who lives in Lincolnshire, told BBC Look East: "My greatest fears were for Amy's safety.

"There were four males on site and she was virtually a prisoner in her own room for four or five hours."

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