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Traders' security fears after spate of break-ins
ANGRY tenants at a business park are threatening to leave over security fears after five break-ins in the last three weeks.
Bennetts Hill Business Park, in South Littleton, near Evesham, has been plagued with incidents since August 8 and business owners fear they are an easy target.
Police said they were aware of at least five break-ins and attempted burglaries and had advised the landowner and victims about taking extra security measures.
Damien Truscott, who owns a garage on the site, had his unit broken into twice before thieves made off with hand-held tools and diagnostic equipment at the third attempt.
The 25-year-old, of Honeybourne, said he had lost work since the break-ins and is now moving his business elsewhere.
“I can’t leave customers’ cars outside at night,” he said. “You don’t know if you’re going to come in next morning and find everything gone. It’s so open here.”
Mike Oldfield, who owns a neighbouring business, said some of the tenants had asked for more security measures to be put in place but their requests had fallen on deaf ears.
“We’ve asked for security cameras to be put up but this was seven weeks ago. All we are asking for is preventative measures so we’re less of a victim,” he said.
Mr Oldfield was one of a number of business owners to form a tenants’ association to air issues with landlord Keith Proctor over poor site maintenance, exposed asbestos and security issues.
But Mr Proctor said improvements to the site were a ‘work in progress’.
He said: “Bennetts Hill has been a fairly happy site. Since these recent incidents there’s been nothing of great value stolen.
“We’ve taken the precaution of installing cameras throughout the site. We’ve made arrangements for the fencing and we’ve also upgraded all the doors on the old units.”
Sarah Buxton, West Mercia police spokesman, said: “The industrial park is in a rural location, which can make premises more vulnerable as they are more isolated.
“However, there are steps that countryside businesses can take in order to protect themselves.
“If you think something is suspicious, then it probably is – so report it to us immediately on 101 or 999 if it looks like there is a crime in progress.”