A SERIES of vandalism attacks have led to fresh calls from business owners for greater security in Uttoxeter.
On Saturday night, Edmonston’s Butchers, in the Maltings, and Uttoxeter Police Station had windows smashed. Part of a wall in Trinity Square was also demolished.
Business owners in the Maltings and Trinity Square are now calling for more CCTV and more police in town.
Their pleas echo those of charity shop bosses in High Street who were targeted by thieves in May.
But 11 CCTV cameras in town are under threat in a move to ‘improve efficiency’ in the borough budget.
David Edmonston, of Edmonston’s, caught the three offenders who kicked in his windows on his own cameras.
He said: “We know who they are and have handed in the evidence to police.
“But other business owners here don’t have their own cameras.
“The police can’t watch these people 24/7, but CCTV gives that added security and acts as a deterrent.
“I’ll be contacting Andrew Griffiths to see if there’s any solution.
“I know several shops in the Maltings that have been damaged in recent years and something needs to be done.
“I think the lack of security would put businesses off the idea of moving here.”
Francesco Group salon, in Trinity Square, had its front windows smashed last year.
Owner Paula Parkes said: “Every shop in Trinity Square has been vandalised in recent years other than the chip shop next door.
“We’re next to the two main late night drinking establishments in town, the Town House and the Old Swan, which can lead to problems when people come out in the early hours.
“Because there’s not that CCTV support there, vandals know when they can and can’t break the law.
“Having said that, I don’t think it’s the main factor in business not wanting to come to town.
“Uttoxeter is a lovely town and has a lot of potential, but there are no big high street names to bring people in.
“I think that’s largely down to high business rates and a general lack of support from the borough council.”
The smashed wall was not reported to police, but they have confirmed the other two attacks may be linked.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “The first incident happened was at Edmonston’s Family Butchers at around 10.45pm on Saturday, when offenders smashed two large glass windows and a door panel and attempted to smash another panel.
“At around 12.05am on Sunday, a window at Uttoxeter Police Station was smashed using an unknown object.
“Officers carried out an area search but no one was located and inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Penny Doyle-Johnson at Staffordshire Police on 101,quoting incident number 2 of January 5. They can also contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.