'We want more bobbies' – Shopkeeper's plea after store smashed up
PUBLISHED: 08:24 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:33 26 October 2018
Retailers have been left shaken after burglars made off with cigarettes following four nighttime break-ins at Suffolk stores.
Police were called to a series of burglaries at shops in Reydon, Shotley, Great Blakenham and Grundisburgh – all of which are believed to be linked – between midnight and 4.30am on Thursday morning.
Nobody was injured and no arrests have yet been made.
One retailer whose shop door was smashed in one of the raids said it was a “real shame” that his store had been targeted less than two weeks after opening – but he blamed budget cuts, and not officers, for rising crime.
Daniel Pont, manager of Budgens in Great Blakenham, said there was no “real incentive” for burglars to stay out of trouble due to a lack of police on the streets at night.
“I am quite hardened to it,” he said. “[But] some of the chaps that have to work up to 10 o’clock at night – it is not a nice thought to know that those people are out there.
“I don’t lay the blame at the police’s door. The two officers that turned up this morning were very helpful.”
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Mr Pont said the main threat to convenience stores was born out of a lack of police at night, when many officers are forced to work alone due to budget cuts.
He added: “We would love to see more police in and around the area.”
Suffolk Constabulary are appealing to anyone who may have information to assist the investigation to contact them 101, quoting crime reference number 37/61630/18.
It comes as the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) urged the Government to take action in the wake of a new report from the Home Affairs Committee, which showed crimes including robbery and theft have been increasing sharply.
The report, entitled ‘Policing for the Future’ reveals that recorded crimes have risen by 32% in the last three years, while the number of charges/summons has decreased by 26%.
Meanwhile, neighbourhood policing has been cut by over 20% since 2010.
Research conducted by ACS earlier this year shows that 82% of retailers are concerned about the consistency of the response from police, with 73% dissatisfied with the time taken for the police to respond to incidents.