Shopkeepers fear vandalism spree

WORRIED shopkeepers today urged the council to change its policy and make it easier to stop shops being vandalised.The sight of boarded up windows in Nacton Road has become a familiar one and many businesses are growing increasingly concerned about the problem.

WORRIED shopkeepers today urged the council to change its policy and make it easier to stop shops being vandalised.

The sight of boarded up windows in Nacton Road has become a familiar one and many businesses are growing increasingly concerned about the problem.

One person, who did not want to be named, has recently replaced a pane of her shop after "a drunken man" damaged it and would like to install a security shutter in front of the shop.

However, the shopkeeper claimed that she had been told that planning permission would not be granted.


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The shopkeeper said: "The most frustrating thing is we should be allowed to put up shutters but the council will not allow us to and I think that is ridiculous.

"I rang them (Ipswich Borough Council) and they said we have to put in planning permission costing £100 and it will probably be refused. I do not see why we cannot put shutters up they have shutters in Queen's Way.

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"If it is going to be refused, you are not going to do it. They want it to be a retail area but why should we suffer.

"Their attitude is we can pay to put inside shutters but what is the point of that."

Another shopkeeper, who did not want to be identified, said: "Windows do get regularly smashed around here. This is a troubled area, but in every area you do get some sort of trouble.

"I have taken precautions to prevent anything happening but I think that everybody knows what the area is like.

"You do not stop opening the shop as we have a mortgage to pay so we have no option but to open."

A council spokeswoman said: "Planning application would have to be made on each instance. Each application would be judged on its own merits."

A council spokesman added: "If you want a shutter you would apply for planning permission in the normal way and the application would cost £110."

Dave Dring, inspector for south east Ipswich, urged businesses to report any incident of their shop being targeted.

Insp Dring said: "We are out there in south east Ipswich in force and people must report things to us. We will pick up on any patterns that there are and will try to address it."

n Do you own a shop in south east Ipswich? Are vandals making your life a misery? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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