FEARS have been raised over police resources after a shopkeeper was terrorised with a broken bottle - and officers didn't show up until the next day.

Shan Siva feared for his life when a customer he refused to sell cigarettes to moved around the counter of his Oxford shop and threatened him at 4pm on Tuesday.

Despite the severity of the crime and its impact on Mr Siva, police did not visit the Premier store in Salford Road until 20 hours after the incident.

Oxford Mail:

Now police, who have branded the offence a robbery, have said they are reviewing CCTV and are working closely with the victim.

Officers say they want to speak to the man pictured in these CCTV images. 

Oxford Mail:

Stunned by the slow response, Old Marston parish councillor Tony Greenfield has written to police bosses to raise concerns over the number of officers in the city.

Mr Siva, 29, was working in Salford Store on Tuesday afternoon when the young male entered and asked for cigarettes shortly before 4pm.

Believing the customer was aged about 16 or 17, Mr Siva asked for identification.

The male declined to provide any ID and also refused to give his date of birth, so Mr Siva said he would not serve him.

At this point the man made his way around the counter to grab a packet of cigarettes himself.

A brief struggle ensued and the pair grappled as Mr Siva pushed the younger man back out into the aisle of the store.

The enraged customer then began breaking bottles of red wine before taking one of the broken bottles and making stabbing motions in the direction of the shopkeeper.

Another customer who was in the store at the time said he had called the police, at which point the offender smashed the broken bottle across the floor and left the shop.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Siva, who said he has worked at the store for two years with little incident, said: “I pushed him out and that’s when he broke a wine bottle and came at me with it.

“If another man hadn’t been in the shop at the time and called the police I think I would be dead now. I thought he was going to stab me.”

Though police were called during the incident, and several times afterwards by Mr Siva himself, officers did not visit the shop until midday on Wednesday.

Mr Siva was left confused as to why nobody had some to see him.

He was told over the phone that many officers had been dispatched to the city where a day earlier, in Paradise Square, a gunman exchanged bullets with armed police.

The suspected shooter, however, had been arrested more than 12 hours before the incident in Salford Store with the police cordon scaled down.

Mr Greenfield is the vice-chairman of Old Marston Parish Council and coordinator of Raymund Road Neighbourhood Watch, a road adjacent to Salford Road.

In trying to establish what was going on, Mr Greenfield was stunned by the lack of police response.

On Tuesday afternoon, the councillor decided to contact police himself but experienced difficulties, including being put on hold for more than 10 minutes after dialling 101.

That evening, Mr Greenfield penned a letter to chief constable Francis Habgood and Thames Valley police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld, raising serious concerns about police staffing.

He planned to contact Oxford East MP Annaliese Dodds about his concerns as well.

To Mr Habgood, he wrote: "Is this lack of urgency from our police now to be commonplace? A dangerous individual has been allowed to walk away from the scene and be at large. Very concerning!

“How many more officers are your force in need of to provide a proper professional and rapid response?

“Would it be a good idea for all chief constables to make a joint stand against the appalling decisions by government and reinstate the required police numbers?”

Mr Greenfield told the Oxford Mail that it was crimes like these, that may appear to be minor, that ruin people’s lives and leave them living in fear.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: “A thorough investigation is being carried out and we are working closely with the victim to bring the offenders to justice.

“We are currently reviewing the CCTV and evidence but we would ask anyone with information to call 101, quoting reference 953 of May 8.”

According to Home Office figures Thames Valley Police had 4,077 officers in September last year, down from 4,412 in September 2010.