A single mum from Daybrook has heaped praise on a police officer who ‘saved Christmas’ when a present for her son went missing.
Jen Beal, 44, ordered a gaming computer from an online market place site for her 12-year-old son, Dylan, who has autism. She had saved up for six months from her job as a part time dental nurse to buy the gift.
She said: “Dylan has a hard time at school and gaming is his world. I wanted to make his bedroom a place where he could go to get away from everything, and where he could socialise with his friends through gaming.”
Shortly after ordering the computer, Jen received an email saying that the package had been delivered and signed for. When she told the delivery company that she had not received the parcel, they investigated but told her that it had been delivered and that they accepted no liability. The seller also said there was nothing they could do to help.
Jen got in touch with Nottinghamshire Police with proof that she was not at home when the computer was supposed to have been delivered.
PC Xanthe Spencer was assigned the case and diligently pieced together evidence, including from neighbours and the delivery company.
“I was in tears when it happened. I was in bits, I felt sick – I didn’t know what to do. No one would help me and it felt like our Christmas was over.
“PC Spencer was absolutely fantastic. She reassured me throughout and told me not to worry because she was going to get this sorted.
“She worked so hard. She kept me up to date every day that she was on duty and told me how the investigation was going. I don’t think she could have done any more than she did.”
As PC Spencer started to investigate the story began to change, with the driver claiming that he had left the parcel on Jen’s drive and then saying that he had left it with a neighbour.
After looking at GPS data and building a timeline of the case, PC Spencer proved that the driver’s story didn’t add up.
Eventually, thanks to PC Spencer’s perseverance, the delivery company was forced to take responsibility for the missing parcel. Jen has received a full refund and has been able to re-purchase the computer for her son.
The delivery company chose to deal with the driver through its own internal processes.
Jen said: “I would just like to say a huge thank you to PC Spencer, because she’s saved Christmas for me.
“There were a good few weeks where I thought that that was it, and that Dylan wasn’t going to get the Christmas present that he deserves.
“He knows we don’t have a lot of money, so his face will absolutely light up when he opens the computer. He’ll probably be in tears, and so will I.”
PC Spencer said: “I joined the police because I wanted to protect the public, and I’m glad that I have been able to do that in this case.
“I’m so pleased that Santa will now be able to bring Dylan’s present and that he and his mum can enjoy their Christmas together, without the worry and upset of this incident hanging over them.”
“I would also like to encourage the public to protect themselves when shopping online. Do your research before you buy – use reputable sites and check the feedback on any third party sellers. Buying with a credit card can also give you more protection in case something goes wrong.
“Most of all, know your rights and if you believe a crime may have been committed, report it to Nottinghamshire Police on 101.”