Saffron Walden shop owners vent frustration over break-ins

A CCTV image from the break-in at Penneys hairdressers

A CCTV image from the break-in at Penneys hairdressers - Credit: Archant

Business owners in Saffron Walden are becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of police action after a series of break-ins in the town over recent weeks.

Penneys hairdressers, in Abbey Lane, was the latest target for thieves, who removed a safe that was bolted to the wall containing £300, smashed tip jars, and caused damage to the till at around 3.30am on Thursday August 27.

It is the third time that Penneys has suffered a break-in this year, after similar incidents in March and June, and follows burglaries to St Clare Hospice, Cancer Research and Sacks hairdressers in the town within the last three weeks.

Helen Brown, manager of Penneys, said: “It’s becoming a joke that nothing is being done. I feel let down by the police and I think everyone around here does. The police did not want to know the first two times I was burgled, but because nothing has been done, these people are just going to keep doing it.

“I understand that there have been cuts to the police but that doesn’t help me or other business owners who have been broken into.”

Sharon Smith, manager of Cancer Research, which was burgled overnight on August 17, said: “You used to see so many officers around the town, but you really don’t see them anymore, which doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

“Saffron Walden is a busy and growing town and people need a proactive police force patrolling the streets. All the businesses in town look out for each other, but we need to be better supported.”

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Both businesses have CCTV systems in place within their shops, and the Reporter published CCTV video footage for the Cancer Research break-in on its website last week.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Saffron Walden is covered by the local policing team 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Officers proactively patrol vulnerable areas and target known offenders. They also investigate crimes to identify and arrest offenders.

“Shops and businesses are also encouraged to take practical crime prevention steps such as ensuring their premises are well secured, have alarms fitted and install CCTV. These measures help to deter thieves.”

For CCTV images of the Cancer Research break-in, click on the link above.