A CCTV camera is set to be installed on the high street of a Sheffield suburb after criminals targeted several independent shops.
Business owners in Crosspool have come together to apply for a funding grant after several shops experienced a spate of break-ins.
Initial concerns were raised in June, when Janet Tonks, owner of Charisma Cards and Gifts, became one of 13 businesses to be the victim of crime in a period of only a few months.
The robber stole £200 from the till in broad daylight and despite phoning the police straight away, they did not attend until 12 days later.
In response to the attacks, Crosspool business owners sought advice from Anne Murphy, Labour councillor for Crookes and Crosspool, who organised a meeting with Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings to discuss the issues they were facing.
The area is not considered to be a hotspot for crime, but its neighbourhood police team was axed amid funding cuts.
Coun Murphy said: “I understand that is the priority of the police however it then leaves wards and areas like this very vulnerable.
“These small businesses can’t afford a lot of staff so there may only be one member of staff on their own, so when you are also aware that that’s happening your local area you want some action taken.”
It is hoped the installation of a CCTV camera will deter potential criminals and reassure both shop owners and residents.
Glyn Dyer, owner of Nest café, said while CCTV may discourage anti-social behaviour, it won’t have an effect on identifying offenders.
“I think even if we’ve got burglaries, all you’d see are shadowy figures at night, I don’t think you’d get identifiable images. If they’re going to commit crime, if they’re determined to commit crime that night, they’re going to go for the easiest targets so I think all you can do is make it that bit more difficult to break into.”
PCC Billings said, while there has been a spike in crime in Crosspool in recent weeks, levels will fluctuate naturally. The biggest concern is ensuring victims report the crime immediately, so police can accurately monitor crime rates in an area.
He said: “Often now you find that arrests don’t come immediately, police need to understand the pattern of crime that develops, the method of operating that the thief is using, and they catch them somewhere down the line.
“People hear lots of things in the media that police are not necessarily responding, but they really do need to report everything in because the police do need to understand what the pattern of crime is in an area.”
The CCTV is set to be installed in 2019. The city council and Crosspool Forum are supporting the initiative.