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Cotswold Shopkeepers Urged to Check Security
Shopkeepers in the Cotswolds and Stroud division are being urged to check their security arrangements after two retail premises were raided within hours of each other earlier this month.
Between 8.35pm on Friday March 24 and 5.55am on Saturday March 25 unknown offenders broke into the Co-op store in Station Road, Bourton on the Water, by forcing the front doors.
Once inside the shop they forced entry to an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) on the premises and stole several thousand pounds.
Offenders also forced the security shutters of a kiosk and stole more than £5,000 worth of cigarettes and tobacco from inside.
Between 11.30pm and 11.45pm on Saturday March 25 at least two offenders raided a filling station on the A429 Fosse Way at Lower Slaughter.
They attached straps to a freestanding ATM and attempted to pull the machine from its fittings using a white Ford Transit van.
Fortunately, the machine remained fixed to the ground causing the offenders to leave the scene empty handed. The Transit van was later found abandoned nearby.
Following the incidents, which are being linked by police, APS Mark Godsland, the Cotswolds Crime Prevention officer, called for shopkeepers in the area to take stock of their security and make improvements where necessary.
"Shopkeepers should be aware that their building and its contents are at risk from burglary, theft, criminal damage and arson," he said.
"A realistic appreciation of these facts, and their potential consequences, is essential if traders are to adopt and employ effective standards of security.
"ATMs should be removed as far away from access points as possible and secured appropriately.
"A successful raid on retail premises is likely to result in the loss of stock and equipment, and disruption to normal trading. Because of this every realistic step should be taken to prevent such an incident taking place.
"Shopkeepers concerned that their security is currently not up to scratch can take a number of steps to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime.
"Firstly, they should consult with security experts, such as their local Crime Prevention Officer, Fire Safety Officer, Private Security Companies or Insurance Companies.
"Traders should apply the advice they receive to their situation, and consider installing extra physical security measures such as locks, security glazing, intruder and fire alarms, security lighting and CCTV.
"They should also consider introducing checks and procedures to reduce opportunities for criminals, and produce a contingency plan detailing what will be done if the worst happens."
Anyone with information about the raid in Bourton on the Water should call police on 0845 090 1234, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting incident number 115 of March 25.
: 28/03/2006 19:10:09
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