Shopowner refuses to pay window bill
A SEAFRONT businessmen whose vandalised shop window was boarded up after police called in a tradesman is today refusing to pay a near £200 bill.Joe Crowley said the work was carried out without his permission and there was no way he was going to pay for it.
A SEAFRONT businessmen whose vandalised shop window was boarded up after police called in a tradesman is today refusing to pay a near £200 bill.
Joe Crowley said the work was carried out without his permission and there was no way he was going to pay for it.
He had expected police to call him as he was on their register of keyholders.
Mr Crowley said: "I knew it would be around £200 because that's what people charge when they are called out in the middle of the night.
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"But I could have boarded up the broken window for nothing because I have boards at my shop ready for such an incident.
"It only cost half that much to put in a new piece of glass!"
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Mr Crowley received the bill for £197.45 because Suffolk police are no longer calling shopkeepers to tell them when their premises have been attacked.
Instead, they decide on a company and call out an emergency repair expert to make the premises secure.
Mr Crowley who owns a café and ice cream parlour in Undercliff Road West, Felixstowe said: "I had done the right thing by putting my name on the register, but now it seems it is not being used.
"However, while the police feel unable now to look up my name and call me to deal with my premises, they seem to be able to look up a repair firm and ring them up.
"I am refusing to pay this bill because I did not authorise any work to be done at my premises at all.
"I had not been told that the situation with the keyholder register had changed."
Another Felixstowe businessman, Jim Adams, of Jim and Donna's Hairdressers, Hamilton Road, has put a disclaimer in his shop warning police he will not pay for any work done as a result of a break-in or vandalism without his approval as he wants the opportunity to find a cheaper quote.
The police have suspended their keyholders' database - a courtesy service - because businesses failed to keep it up to date.
A police spokeswoman said: "Past experience has shown that keyholder records have not been updated by some businesses and police have previously called keyholders in the early hours only to be told they have left the company concerned."
Officers' first duty is to protect public and property and if damage is discovered steps would be taken to secure the premises.
The force is currently looking to put a new web-based keyholder system in place to provide an improved service to businesses.