Police and shop owners working together

WITH YET another Castle Street shop suffering a break-in in recent weeks, shop owners and local police officers are working together to help prevent these crimes happening.

Cameron’s Fishmonger’s is the latest shop to be targeted and police are still appealing for information.

The break-in happened some time between 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24, and 3 a.m. on Thursday, October 25

A quantity of cash was stolen in the incident.

Anyone who may have information to assist police with their enquiries is asked to contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222.

Burgh Inspector Ally Robertson said that the police and the shop owners in Castle Street are working to find a solution to this problem. He said: “What we are trying to do is work in tandem with the shop owners.

“Our community officers are looking at establishing a ‘Shop Watch’ scheme similar to ‘Pub Watch’ which is already in place in the town.

“The best weapon we have against this type of crime is prevention.

“Officers on the beat have ownership and pride of the area and they know the areas to check while on nightshift.”

He said that the problem with Castle Street is the “closes” at the back of the properties which make it easier for burglars to break-in undetected.

He added: “We would, however, also like to appeal to nighttime workers such as taxi drivers and kebab shop workers, and the people who live in the flats on Castle Street to keep an eye and ear out for anything.

“If they hear or see anything unusual at two or three in the morning it might not just be a cat on the roof.”

Newsagent Asif Yaqoob is pleased with the help from the police but is also asking for more support from the local authority.

He stated: “I am very concerned and feel that we need action - it keeps happening on the same street and this has happened to my neighbours and to me.

“The first thing that needs to happen is to have CCTV cameras up where it will deter anybody who wants to break in.

“The police have been very helpful and they want to work with us. We have been told that it is the council which is in control of the CCTVs but they do not have the funding to put a permanent one in place that would help us.

“We all work hard to compete with the supermarkets and these break-ins just give us more cost.

“The council should pay attention to us.”

Kay Morton of Robbie & Nicoll florists agreed that CCTV could be the key.

She said: “I definitely want CCTV put in place where it would benefit all of our businesses. There was a camera at the bottom of the street but they took it away again.

“The break-ins have made us much more cautious and you’re more aware of the people going about. You can’t really trust anyone.”

Ms Morton was also quick to praise the police who she feels have been extremely helpful throughout the two break-ins her shop has suffered.

She continued: “I don’t think there is anything else they can do. It would be unfair and unrealistic to ask them to sit outside the shop 24/7

“I was broken into on a Tuesday night and a Saturday night, how can you possibly keep control of that.”

Jonathan Smith from Colin M. Smiths added: “The police have made a great effort to help. They have been round here a few times and there have been talks and meetings with all the business owners.”

He said that it was the damage criminals caused that affected his business the most, “I would rather they just came in here for £50 and I would give them it rather than smashing the windows and causing so much hassle and damage.”

A spokeswoman for Angus Council has responded to the requests for CCTV. She said: “Open space CCTV in Angus is the responsibility of the community planning partnership and was originally funded between the local businesses and the Community Planning Partnership.

“Angus Council and Tayside Police are aware of requests from business owners for improved CCTV surveillance in this area of Forfar.

“The council and police are happy to discuss the situation further with our community partners and will review the current evidence to ascertain if there is a case to relocate a fixed CCTV camera and will discuss the next steps with local businesses.

“Whilst this is ongoing, anyone witnessing acts of vandalism or other criminal behaviour should contact the police immediately.”