Thieves ‘run amok’ as ‘no police presence’

The door at Antiques and Allsorts was smashed in a vandal attack SUS-150123-154343001

The door at Antiques and Allsorts was smashed in a vandal attack SUS-150123-154343001

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A Hailsham shopkeeper said thieves are ‘running amok’ in the town, because of the lack of police presence at night.

Michael Clark, who owns Antiques and All Sorts said his shop was broken into on January 8 at 3am, the same night a leisure centre in the town was also broken into.

He said the window of his shop was smashed, and around £1,500 worth of goods were taken.

Since then, aquarium shop Fish Around had its window smashed, and a jewellery shop on the High Street was targeted on Wednesday night.

These are just some of a handful of shops which have been targeted on the High Street in the last few weeks.

Mr Clark said, “The police were very quick to react, but that was the last we’ve seen or heard of them.

“Thieves are just running amok in Hailsham. There is no police presence, and we are all rather worried.

“It is just ridiculous, every other night someone is being done.

“We’re going to have to pull out of Hailsham if it carries on.”

Joy Barnard, who owns jewellery shop Ashley Adams, on the High Street, saw thousands of pounds worth of damage and theft after her shop was targeted on Wednesday.

The metal shutters had been wrenched off the front of the shop and the window was smashed, with thieves taking what they could reach through the broken glass.

“It is tough times for businesses anyway, and to have this, it is not helping the community and the businesses,” she said.

Fish Around on the High Street, had its window smashed on January 10.

Glen Martin, who works at the shop, said, “After midnight, there is nobody in the High Street, it is a ghost town. Something needs to be done about it.”

Sergeant Mark Ritchie, from Hailsham neighbourhood policing team, said, “Unfortunately, a number of businesses in High Street, Hailsham, have been damaged recently in incidents where shop windows have been smashed.

“We are currently investigating the incidents and all available lines of enquiry are being investigated, including examining CCTV footage. Local officers are in regular contact with the businesses affected and patrols have been increased in the town centre to reduce the chance of further offences.

“We have a number of suspects for the damage and are currently trying to trace them.

“We are also working closely with our partners at Hailsham Town Council and in the local business community to encourage vigilance and reporting of any suspicious activity. This type of crime not only affects the individual businesses concerned, it also has wider implications for feelings of safety in the community and we are determined to catch those who were responsible.”