Don’t put up with vandals

Kirk Elliott at his shop Pro Muscle Products on Church Street, Blackpool
Kirk Elliott at his shop Pro Muscle Products on Church Street, Blackpool
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POLICE and councillors have pledged to do all they can to help traders hit by constant vandalism.

The Gazette revealed yesterday how Church Street traders were left counting the cost of smashed windows, scratched cars, damage to property and burglaries, in a spate of incidents since December.

One store, Pro Muscle Products, had its windows smashed twice in the past seven days.

Councillors said mobile CCTV may be used in the area in the future to deter criminals.

Coun Sarah Riding, of Talbot ward, told The Gazette: “It’s very distressing to hear of any anti social behaviour or vandalism, which we know is a huge problem in Blackpool.

“But as a ward we pride ourselves on the partnership we have with the police and the local community and traders have to let us know about any cases of vandalism so we can increase patrols.

“The message here is let us know there is a problem, we don’t want people to suffer in silence, we have mobile CCTV we can place in crime hot spots.

“We want to make Blackpool a safe place to visit, that is part of the regeneration programme and anyone with concerns should attend our PACT meetings.”

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Brunswick councillor Gary Coleman agreed with those sentiments and added: “We need a proper deterrent when these vandals are caught.

“Even the police must get disillusioned when vandals go to court and get minimal sentences.

“We always do what we can to work closely with the police, but we’re also aware of the funding issues.”

Kirk Elliott, owner of Pro Muscle Products, said his business faced closure if his windows kept getting smashed.

He added: “I’m looking at £2,500 to fix the damage this time.

“They couldn’t get into my property, so smashed every window before breaking into my kitchen and through the wall into next door, where they stole computers.

A police spokesman said: “We fully appreciate the impact criminal damage can have on individuals, business owners and communities as a whole and we take such complaints extremely seriously.

“If anybody is a victim of criminal damage or is concerned about it as an issue in their area then I would urge them to tell us about it by either calling us on 101 or by raising any issues with their Neighbourhood Policing Teams directly at local PACT meetings.”

“These crimes are being investigated and we would appeal for anyone with information to come forward.”

Police want to trace two men in hooded tops seen running along Danesbury Place towards Peter Street on February 14.

Any information can be passed to police by calling 101.

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