Landlord ‘calls in private security’ after spate of burglaries

PUBLISHED: 07:41 11 January 2018 | UPDATED: 07:41 11 January 2018

The landlords of a Saffron Walden shopping precinct are said to have called in private security . Picture: ARCHANT

The landlords of a Saffron Walden shopping precinct are said to have called in private security . Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

The landlords of a shopping precinct in Saffron Walden have reportedly paid for private security in a bid to combat a spate of burglaries plaguing retailers in the town.

The London-based landlords of Rose and Crown Walk, Lee Baron, are said to have contracted private security with dogs after a spate of break-ins at the town’s shops, including two clothes shops, Boots the Chemist, a cafe and a website designer.

Now business owners, furious that the police seem unable to prevent crime, are writing to Saffron Walden MP Kemi Badenoch and the police commissioner, Roger Hirst. The latest break-in was on Friday, January 5, at Boots the Chemist in Rose and Crown Walk at 4.40am. The thieves loaded up wheelie bins with perfume and razors.

Dress shop Fanny and Frank in Church Street was burgled twice, in the early hours of December 15 and again on Christmas Eve, when the shop was cleared of stock and lost days of trade.

The Courtyard Cafe was raided on Sunday, December 17, when the safe was taken and on the same night there was an attempt on website designers, Tela, again in Rose and Crown Walk.

This business is on an upper storey. Thieves entered by a first floor window and switched off the computers but were unable to break down the security door to get them out. They left empty-handed but stamped on a laptop and smashed it.

A month earlier, on Sunday, November 19, thieves stole £25,000 worth of high end outdoor clothing from Jacks in Saffron Walden High Street.

Nicola Brooks of the Brooks Designer Dress Agency, which is underneath Tela, told the Reporter: “This is a very sad state of affairs. I am going to get in touch with our MP to see what can be done and also write to our police commissioner. Thieves know there are no police around and is only a matter of time before there is another burglary.”

Director of Tela, Shara Vickers said: “Thieves think we are easy pickings because there are no police around.”

Karen Wolfe-Evans owner of Fanny and Frank said of the thieves: “You have to wonder what sort of lives these people lead.”

A spokesman for Boots said any theft was taken “extremely seriously” and that the company was actively working with the police and local authorities to report any offences.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Total crime recorded for the Saffron Walden Audley ward, which includes the town centre, has dropped over the last three years, against a national average of a rise of 13 per cent.

“This includes a drop in the number of domestic and commercial burglaries reported. There were six reported in December 2017, compared to eight in December 2016 and 10 in December 2015.

“We understand the impact burglary has for victims and work with businesses, partner organisations, private security firms and community groups to prevent and reduce crime.”

The spokesman said that two people, a 16-year-old boy and a 27-year-old man, both from the Bishop’s Stortford area, had been arrested in connection with the burglary at Boots. Both have been released pending further investigation.

Enquiries into the burglaries at Fanny and Frank are ongoing. Anyone with information should contact police at Saffron Walden on 101.

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