Published: February 4, 2009
'More police patrols and better CCTV needed to protect Burnham shops'

Burnham-On-Sea's Chamber of Trade has this week called for more night time police patrols and an extension of CCTV coverage in the town centre following a spate of attacks on businesses.

Chairman Alex Turco has written to Burnham police and local councils calling for action amid growing concern about rising crime levels during the recession.

It follows an attempted robbery at an antiques shop in Burnham last Friday (pictured), two ram raids at Boots and Superdrug (pictured below) during the last six months, and several incidents of vandalism where shop windows have been smashed last December and in January.

"Now that the recession has been offically confirmed, it is important to consider the likely impact on commercial premises in Burnham-On-Sea," writes Mr Turco in his letter on behalf of the Chamber's 78 businesses.

"Whilst the risk of declining trade is well documented, comments about the risk of increased theft during a recession have so far been lacking. Sadly, some people decide that stealing is an easy way to solve their financial worries."

"In the last twelve months, we have seen three robberies at an antiques shop, two ram raids at Superdrug and one at Boots, whilst a number of High Street buildings, as well as St Andrew's Church, have suffered from the theft of roof lead."

"In addition, criminal damage continues to take place with repeated incidences of window damage, for instance at Watermark Financial Solutions."

"Whilst this is not in itself linked to the recession, it is an ongoing problem that deserves attention."

"To the Chamber, it appears that commercial theft is increasing despite overall crime figures decreasing. It is certainly not an acceptable level of crime in a small coastal town in our opinion."

"Therefore, the Chamber is calling for action to deter further instances of this nature."

"In particular, we would welcome support to implement an increased police presence in Burnham town centre during night time hours; enhancing CCTV to upgrade the town centre system to infrared cameras; and extending the CCTV network to cover all town centre premises."

"We would also like to see businesses educated about their own security; support for those businesses that want security shutters where appropriate; and progress with the installation of number plate recognition cameras in Burnham."


Burnham Chamber of Trade


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