Pub to boost security after raids

PUB bosses have pledged to increase security after customers were hit by a spate of vehicle crime in a car park.

Dave Gooderham

PUB bosses have pledged to increase security after customers were hit by a spate of vehicle crime in a car park.

Vandals broke into a number of cars at The Crown pub in Stoke by Nayland, near Sudbury, prompting fears that lighting and security could be improved.

Now the owners of the popular village pub have moved to ease customers' fears by pledging to carry out more “patrols” of the car park at night times.

Richard Sunderland, managing director, also said he would revisit the issue of lighting outside the pub after initial moves were met with concerns about “light pollution”.

Mr Sunderland said: “We have had problems with lighting in the car park. When we first took over the pub, we were told we would only be allowed as minimal lighting as possible.

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“I intend to revisit the issue of lighting in the New Year to improve the safety of vehicles in the car park. But we also intend to have someone patrolling the car park at nights. Our message to these vandals is that this won't be tolerated and we want to reassure customers that their vehicles are safe.”

Trevor Lansdown, pub regular and one of the victims of the car crime on December 17, said he was in the Crown for only a few hours when he found his BMW had been broken into and items stolen from inside the vehicle.

He said: “I came out of the pub and found that my car had been broken into. The window was smashed and there was other damage to the car.

“The pub is a popular and lovely place but the car park is really badly lit. There is a duty of care to all the customers and I would like to see some improvements. Surely if there was better lighting it would help both the pub customers and the residents. If this is impossible, you need to have someone patrolling the car park.”

To further Mr Lansdown's annoyance, he now faces an £800 repair bill while he also spent three hours in accident and emergency after getting a shard of glass in a hand wound from the vehicle damage.

A spokesman for Suffolk police confirmed that they were called to the pub at about 9pm, in Park Street, after three vehicles had their windows smashed and items stolen from within.

Anyone with information should contact PC Gary Hopkins on 01284 774100.

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