Home U.K Despairing businessman fed up with break-ins fills store with razor wire

Despairing businessman fed up with break-ins fills store with razor wire

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Parvez Akhtar claims police failed to respond after his shop Fix A Fone was targeted five times in the past three years. Police chiefs say they need more funding to tackle a rise in violent crimes across Teesside.

But Mr Akhtar has become so frustrated that he’s installed the razor wire overnight to deter the thugs in Middlesbrough.

Speaking to Teesside Live, the angry businessman said: “I have complained to the police, everything, and nobody has come even for a fingerprint.

“My insurance won’t cover me, I have lost so much money every year.”

The latest of the burglaries happened on May 8 this year when the shop shutters were forced open.

Another led to three arrests but no one was subsequently charged.

Mr Akhtar confronted Policing Minister Kit Malthouse over the crimes this week when the politician visited Middlesbrough to discuss plans with Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner.

Footage captures the tense showdown, during which despairing Mr Akhtar says: “I don’t know what to do.”

Addressing Mr Akhtar, Mr Malthouse says: “I heard what you said.

“We have invested quite a lot of money in this area – £450,000 (from the Safer Streets fund) – in CCTV, lighting and new alleygating.

“We have two brand new police officers here – there are going to be a lot more of them – and the reason I have come here today with Steve is to try and understand the problem with crime so we can try and do something about it.

“Hopefully over the months to come you will see a big difference.”

Mr Turner tries to take the heat out of the situation by stating he would look into Mr Akhtar’s complaint.

He says: “I don’t know why you haven’t had a response, but I am happy to look into it for you.”

Mr Akhtar claims “nearly every single shop” in the vicinity, including a pizza shop and bakery, had been targeted in attacks by criminals.

Speaking since the confrontation, Mr Turner said he had deliberately chosen the Newport ward for Mr Malthouse’s walkabout, during which he was joined by neighbourhood officers and new recruits.

He said: “If we are going to get a couple of hours of a senior minister’s time I am not going to walk him around leafy Yarm and talk about how wonderful the area is.

“If we are talking about the challenges facing Cleveland then I am going to take him to Parliament Road and other parts of Newport that are causing us problems.

“He [Mr Akhtar] was able to come out and have that conversation and opportunity to talk to me and the minister and we could answer his questions.”

He added: “One of my team is going to contact him to look at the detail behind the incidents he highlighted and the response the gentleman got.

“I have been a victim of burglary myself in the past and the response I got at the time from the police was really good.

“But I do hear people saying they report such things and the police don’t come out.

“Sometimes it can be about the information given to the police at the time and what people’s expectations are.

“I don’t think in Cleveland we communicate particularly well in terms of what we can do and what to expect from the service when those responses come in.”



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