Extra security patrols are being carried out in Shrewsbury town centre to reassure business owners following a spate of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
Shrewsbury BID, which works on behalf of more than 500 members in the town centre, is providing additional overnight security patrols alongside a stepped-up police presence in the town.
Police are patrolling the town centre on a regular basis, and arrests have been made in relation to recent break-ins.
Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said businesses were determined to prevent further incidents from occurring in the town centre.
He said: “Traders have been working extremely hard to get ready for reopening, and these break-ins have been really hard to take.
“We are absolutely committed to ensuring Shrewsbury continues to be a safe place to work and visit, so we’re working with the police by providing extra security services overnight.
“Security operatives are working in addition to and alongside the police and CCTV to report and deter any further incidents of theft, criminal damage or anti-social behaviour.
“We would encourage all traders to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.”
Inspector Saf Ali, of West Mercia Police, said: “Following the recent spate of anti-social behaviour and thefts in the town centre since restrictions have begun to be lifted, Shrewsbury’s Safer Neighbourhood Team have been briefed to patrol the town centre until further notice to discourage further incidents.
“This is a local priority and there will be dedicated patrols overnight in the town.
“The team is also looking at a longer-term strategy to discourage incidents, incorporating patrol plans and community engagement. Arrests have also been made regarding recent break-ins and anti-social behaviour and offenders are being dealt with by CID.”
Mike Dalton, owner of stop coffee shop in St Julian’s Friars, which suffered a break-in over the weekend, added: “After the challenges of lockdown, we’re really angry about the attacks on various premises in the town, and we are grateful for the enormous support we have had from customers and the local community.
“We are pleased to see extra security being put in place, and would like to see a collaboration between businesses like ourselves, the town council, Shrewsbury BID and the police to work on a long-term strategy to tackle this problem.”
Businesses are being encouraged to report all crimes to the police by dialling 999 in an emergency, or via 101, or online.