Cafe boss in demand for more police and CCTV
A Fleetwood cafe owner has called on more police patrols and a better town centre CCTV system to give high street shops better protection from vandals and burglars.
Colin Hind, proprietor of the Capricorn Cafe on Lord Street, fears that attacks on shops have increased in the last few months.
Mr Hind said his business had been targeted twice in December, when the premises was broken into by burglars.
He says that the thieves stole £61 but caused around £2,000 of damage when they smashed down the doors - first the back then the front.
On the second occasion the front door was kicked in.
The trader said it felt like such crimes were a low priority for the police.
However, Fleetwood Police denied this and insisted town centre crime had fallen in the last 12 months.
Mr Hind said: “It seems to me that these sort of crimes are low priority.
“On one occasion there was a foot print on the door but the police didn’t seem bothered to check it out.
“The police told me that if the offence had been caught on camera, all it would show would be someone in a dark hoodie kicking down a door, so what kind of message does that give?
“The CCTV cameras should be manned more often and we should have more bobbies on the beat.
“I am going to have fork out for my own camera system because I have no faith on the town centre one being manned property.”
Robert Brown, chairman of Fleetwood Trade, said: “The town centre cameras should be fully manned.
“My wife’s business, The Dog Shop and Cats 2 on Poulton Street, was broken into last summer.
“We resorted to bring in a visual dog monitor for just £45, and it really offers good images.
“Perhaps that is one solution for our local shops and it does give you peace of mind.”
Fleetwood Police insist that crime figures in Fleetwood town centre show a downward trend.
The statistics show that although there were 11 burglaries reported in Fleetwood East (covering the town centre) in December 2015, compared with just eight in December 2014, criminal damage was markedly down to 23 in December 2015 from 31 cases 12 months earlier.
Sgt Dan Whitaker, of Fleetwood Police, said: “Town centre patrols are carried out regularly and crime hot spots are checked out.
“There will always be more crime in the town centre than in other areas because it attracts more people late at night.
“But when crimes are reported they are always followed through accordingly, including appealing for witnesses and checking CCTV.
“We liaise closely with Wyre Council in terms of the town centre CCTV and the system is manned and active.”