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Traders consider 'bouncers' after spate of burglaries

By Paul Nizinskyj, Wombwell Reporter Tuesday 12th February 2013

Traders in Wombwell have suggested hiring a 'bouncer' for the High Street after a spate of burglaries.


Many have said they were 'sick to death' of the repeated break-ins to their properties - some of which have occurred twice in a week - which are mostly characterised by breaking through the roof.


A number of stores were hit by burglaries at the weekend, including a Polish shop on Station Road as well as a hairdresser and The Fone Home on High Street.


Between £4,000 and £5,000 worth of goods were stolen from The Fone Home which, as well as selling computers, also repairs them for customers.


Since Christmas, a number of other businesses have been targeted, including Bananas hair salon, Ethel Austin and The Easy Barber on High Street as well as The Lounge salon and Home Comforts on Station Road.


Josh Stewart, of The Lounge, said the salon had been broken into twice in the same week, first on January 21 then again on January 24 - despite bolts being fitted to the shutters in between.


Jerry O'Neil, from Home Comforts on Station Road, suggested hiring security guards to monitor the area.

He said: "We're all fed up with it. This place was broken into on January 2 and a flatscreen TV was taken.


"I think what would work is if everyone put in to hire someone to patrol the street on a night and keep an eye on it. But it would have to be everyone."


Andy Boyne, of LAKA hairdresser on the High Street, also suggested this as a solution and said he took part in a similar arrangement when he ran a private members' club in Manchester. His hairdresser's was broken into through the roof on Sunday.


Andy said: "A similar thing happened last year, though they only got away with £3 and a pair of rubber gloves, so since then I've been meticulous about making sure I don't leave anything of value on a night. Nothing was stolen but I lost a day and a half's trading on Monday and Tuesday getting the hole in the ceiling plastered up."


However Andy Cole, of the High Street Committee, said he did not think it was the right approach.


He said: "What's needed is for landlords to secure their properties. You have to think how many man hours are going to have to go into this and what it's going to cost.


"Most of these burglaries are happening through the back of the property so it might be better to get security cameras and flood lights there."

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