'Teamwork is key' in fight against Shrewsbury town centre burglars - police

Teamwork is key in tackling the problem of burglaries in Shrewsbury, police have said.

The door was smashed at Darwin's Sandwich Evolution
The door was smashed at Darwin's Sandwich Evolution

At least 14 town centre premises have been targeted over the last couple of months, and police have made several arrests, including suspects they believe to be main instigators.

Superintendent Stuart Bill said prevention is a focus for dealing with the situation long-term, while Inspector Saf Ali said the contribution of the public, town council CCTV operators and others partners were vital in catching suspects, and that working together will be crucial in staying on top of it.

Supt Bill said: "For me the key is prevention. We don't want these things to happen in the first place if we can help it. We understand who the most persistent offenders are going to be.

"Just prior to my arrival there was a spate of burglaries, but the community team has made some arrests."

Superintendent Stuart Bill

Inspector Ali said that on one occasion, town centre camera operators shouted up to police when they saw a burglary suspect, so officers could arrest him on the spot.

"Police can't and don't have all the answers, so having those partnerships are important," added Supt Bill.

A spate of burglaries took place in April over the Easter Bank Holiday and the following weekend.

Among the victims were Strands hairdressers, The Allotment, Stop. Cafe and Nomad Coffee Co.

In mid-May, Darwin’s Sandwich Evolution in Shoplatch had its door smashed in and money stolen from the till, and Pomona Grocery in Castle Street was targeted.

Another burglary was attempted at Goldsmiths of Shrewsbury was also made just around a month ago, just weeks after £20,000 of watches were stolen. Arrests were made following both incidents at Goldsmiths.

More recently, CSONS restaurant in Milk Street had cash, spirits and keys stolen in a break-in, and not-for-profit cafe Palmer's of Shrewsbury, which supports rough sleepers in the town, was burgled.

Manager Lynne Breakell said at the time: "We’ve only just started having customers back inside. After the year we’ve had, and just as we’re getting up and running again, it’s a bit of a kick in the teeth.”

As well as aiming to catch criminals as early as possible, police have been looking into longer term preventative measures and hope to enforce town centre bans on the culprits. Patrols have increased in the town.

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