Police have admitted they were too slow in getting to a break-in at a Ledbury store this week, in which a £6,000 flat screen television was snatched by thieves.

The burglary took place at Eager Electrical, in The Homend, on Tuesday.

The shop's owner, town councillor Martin Eager, said the alarm went off at 7.25pm, as the crooks successfully forced a steel grille and smashed the front door lock.

Police have confirmed they were called by a member of the public at 7.28pm, but took 24 minutes to arrive from Hereford, some four minutes over their own response target.

West Mercia police spokesman Georgie Bates said: "We did have officers on duty in Ledbury that evening but they were otherwise engaged. We did our best and we were four minutes out."

The officers who did attend travelled from Hereford.

Coun Eager said: "It was a totally inadequate response.

"If Hereford is only a 15-minute drive away, why did it take so long for the police to get here? This is why we need our own parish officers; not one, but three or four."

The television taken was a 42-inch screen plasma model, only four inches thick.

Coun Eager put the damage caused by the burglars to his premises and other stock at £6,000, the same value as the stolen item.