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Business leader calls on traders to report break-ins

01 July 2020

A business leader is calling on traders situated on Alum Rock Road  to report burglaries to the police after a spate of break-ins.

Aftab Chughtai (pictured), vice-chair of Saltley Business Association, a trading association on Alum Rock Road in Birmingham, and executive committee member of Asian Business Chamber of Commerce, is making the call after swathes of burglaries in the area, with one business being burgled  four times  in six weeks according to Aftab.

Businesses such as hairdressers, butchers, beauty salons, takeaways and wedding dress shops had been broken in to, and businesses were not reporting these crimes to the police, according to Aftab.

He says businesses have had cash stolen and had thousands of pounds worth of property damage.

However, after traders came forward to notify the business association of the break-ins, Aftab contacted West Midlands Police to notify them of the burglaries.

Aftab says that although this spate of break-ins have now been notified to the police, the burglaries highlight the risk of under-reporting of these crimes and has urged businesses to always report burglaries. 

Aftab said: “Talking to the traders, some of these traders were reporting the break-ins, but a very large majority of these break-ins were not reported.

“We were able to connect traders to the police, which were extremely helpful in gathering evidence and recording these break-ins.

“However, it is still concerning that a large number of these retailers did not report these crimes to the police. It is absolutely vital that retailers report break-ins to the police in order for them to gather evidence.

“What we would advise traders to do is still contact police and report immediately, as the force needs to be aware of these crimes, have evidence, such as photographs of damage and stolen goods, in order to protect traders and catch perpetrators associated with these crimes in the future.”

Inspector Amir Abid from Birmingham East NPU, commented: “In recent weeks we have worked closely with the Trading Association to tackle a spate of burglaries on businesses on Alum Rock Road.

“We provided local patrols and reassurance to the businesses as well as conducting extensive CCTV trawls and we have provided safety advice to those affected.

“A 40-year-old man was arrested and has since been charged in connection with the burglaries.

“We want to reassure the public we take these crimes very seriously and therefore encourage the community to report crime or any information they may know about issues in their area."

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