Ambulance called to the aid of collapsed police officer Adele Cashman went to the wrong address

Thursday, 8th November 2012


Published: 8 November, 2012

AN ambulance called to the aid of a police officer who died on duty reached her three times later than its official target – because it went to the wrong location.

Detective Constable Adele Cashman, 30, ­collapsed after a suspected cardiac arrest in Belsize Park Gardens on Monday.

It took 23 minutes for paramedics to arrive when the target arrival time for this kind of life-threatening emergency is eight minutes.
Police colleagues performed CPR but she died later that evening.

DC Cashman, who was based at Kentish Town police station, had responded to calls for back-up from two other police officers after a 59-year-old woman allegedly had her mobile phone snatched in Haverstock Hill. Two teenagers have been arrested.

An initial response car was dispatched at 9.39pm by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) after DC Cashman collapsed.

It went to Belsize Park instead of Belsize Park Gardens, arriving after five and a half minutes, followed by an ambulance a minute later.

However, unable to immediately locate the robbery squad officer, the paramedics arrived at the correct location at 10.02pm.

DC Cashman was taken to the Royal Free Hospital at 10.51pm and was pronounced dead at 11.10pm.  

A police source told the New Journal that “questions were being asked at the time over where the ambulance was and why it hadn’t turned up.”

The source said: “It felt like an extremely long wait, maybe half an hour for the ambulance.

"Her colleagues were doing CPR. They were in bits.”

A spokeswoman from the LAS said that the delay had been as a result of an address mix-up but that DC Cashman’s closeness to the Royal Free would not have increased the speed of an ambulance’s arrival, because its ambulances are not based at the hospital.

She said: “There was initially some difficulty confirming the precise location when we got the call in.

"It was initially given as Belsize Park, not Gardens.

"There was a car there at that address of ‘Belsize Park’ in five and a half minutes, and six and a half minutes for the ambulance.

"So it is not that we didn’t have anything to dispatch.

"I think they were obviously looking, and as soon as we did become aware of the real location, then they would have got there quicker.

“Our target is to get to 75 per cent of Category A calls within eight minutes.

"Obviously we didn’t get there. We do our best to get to as many as we can within that time.”

She added that the service had not been swamped by extra calls on Bonfire Night.

Tributes have been paid to DC Cashman as “a much loved and wholly dedicated officer”.

Acting Camden Borough Commander Richard Tucker, paid tribute to the DC Cashman who joined the Met in 2006 and was initially stationed in Wandsworth where she worked as a PC before being transferred to Camden in 2010 as a detective constable.

He said: “Adele was a much loved and wholly dedicated officer.

"We at Camden are completely devastated at her sudden passing, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this tragically sad time.”

Met Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “Adele was an eager officer, she was in a crime squad, she was out there chasing criminals, which is I’m sure the reason she joined.

"She was out there being brave, getting stuck in and then this great tragedy has happened.

"It is a terrible loss to everybody who knew her.”

A post-mortem examination was held on Tuesday but proved inconclusive and officers await the results of further tests

Her family has been informed.

Two 17 year old boys were yesterday (Wednesday) accused of theft following the incident in Haverstock Hill. They will appear at Highbury Corner Youth Court next week.

>>NEW JOURNAL COMMENT: Was detective a victim of cuts to the ambulance service? (click here for full story)

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