Boots told they can go ahead with shutters at Wisbech store - but police continue their opposition

Boots branch in Horsefair, Wisbech: The store has been given permission for internal shutters to pro

Boots branch in Horsefair, Wisbech: The store has been given permission for internal shutters to provide additional security. - Credit: Archant

A Wisbech store has been allowed to install three internal shutters to protect it from burglars after proposals for external shutters were criticised

Boots UK Ltd can go ahead with the installation at their Horsefair shop after telling Fenland Council they were needed after security had been repeatedly compromised from criminal attacks.

“The building is at risk and vulnerable to security breaches due to the high value of goods and drugs sold,” said a planning officer’s assessment.

“Boots is vulnerable to attack due to the large window and door openings that face directly onto the main thoroughfare.”

But the company’s insistence that the store had been repeatedly targeted was challenged in a police statement to Fenland Council.

Cambs Police said they were not aware of any criminal damage or vandalism incidents at this location and said that if it is an issue then it should have been reported to them.

However police agreed there had been 31 crimes “on our systems” within the Horsefair location that comprised:

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• One cycle theft

• One burglary (forced rear door of a store)

• One assault (shoplifter assaulted member of staff)

• Twenty eight shoplifting offences

A police officer told planners: “Whilst I feel that this location appears to be vulnerable to shop lifting, I cannot support the application for the fitting of roller shutters as I have no evidence that this would deter this type of crime”.

He said shop lifting happens when the store is open and shutters would not be in use.

However Fenland’s planning team concluded that Boots could use internal shutters.

“Boots has assessed the potential and existing security risk to their premises across the UK,” said their report.

Laminated glass and dummy and real CCTV cameras were ruled out.

“The proposed roller shutter installation is not considered to have a detrimental effect on the building’s existing character but will serve to ensure its continued use and security.”

The shutters will be white and in keeping with the existing shop frontage.

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