'Enough is enough' - retailers to take action over incessant crime levels (From Enfield Independent)
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'Enough is enough' - retailers to take action over incessant crime levels
Traders say they are ready to take a stand against a spate of crimes and an apparent lack of police help.
Shop owners along Hertford Road, in Enfield Wash, believe crime levels are now on a par with the riots of 2011, following constant break-ins and muggings in the area.
Two months after a visit by Home Secretary Theresa May in which shopkeepers described dealing with incessant break-ins, they say they have failed to see any improvements.
Allan Millwood of Albany Radio, in Hertford Road, told the Enfield Independent that things are worse than ever.
He said: “Six weeks before the Theresa May visit we had 14 break-ins to our shops in Hertford Road and things are not getting better.
“We have seen at least 30 shops targeted for robbery and people are being mugged in the streets as well, it is worse than the riots in 2011.
“Enough is enough, we must fight back and we must get more police coming from Enfield Town to this side of the borough.”
Mr Millwood claims the stretch of Hertford Road between Ponders End and Bullsmoor Lane has one of the highest crime rates in the borough.
In May 2014, 52 crimes were reported along the same stretch according to Police.uk figures, 20 of which were classified as burglary or theft.
Mr Millwood added: “My family business has been here since 1932 and it has never been this bad. People are afraid to come out because of muggings.
“PCSOs have been cut right back and we get them round here maybe once a week, but all the others have been moved to Enfield Town, that’s their haven.”
Dean Partridge of Everitt’s florists has run his family business in the Hertford Road for 27 years and believes that retailers will have to take matters in their own hands before anything changes.
He said: “Nothing has really improved since Theresa May visited and I told her that day that people will take matters into their own hands to improve things round here and she said she didn’t want it to get that far.
“Unfortunately it is becoming that way because nothing has been done in the month and a half since. Ultimately if they continue to take police off the streets then this is going to happen.”
Mr Everitt paid more than £700 to fit his own CCTV to protect his business, but wants to see more cameras in the area.
He said: “Business has gone down around 70 per cent in the past few years; most of our customers are home deliveries. The older generation are scared to leave their homes round here.
“CCTV is needed desperately in this area. This is an organised group who target the shops when they know the retailers are vulnerable, but nothing gets done, we have been neglected.”
Enfield North MP Nick de Bois said: “I am very aware of what is going on in Hertford Road and I have made contact with shop keepers in the area to come together as a collective body and fight for more police presence and CCTV cameras.
“The north east part of the borough has been neglected for years and we must act.”
The Metropolitan police have yet to make a comment after being contacted by the Enfield Independent.