Plagued by 'criminal attacks' Boots the Chemist say unless shutters are installed at Wisbech store its future cannot be certain

PUBLISHED: 18:01 31 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:49 01 September 2017

Image provided b y Boots (left) of how shutters would look and (right) images from their store in Horsefair, Wisbech

Image provided b y Boots (left) of how shutters would look and (right) images from their store in Horsefair, Wisbech

Archant

Boots the Chemist says "criminal attacks" has left it no option but to put external roller shutters onto their shop in Horsefair, Wisbech.

The company hinted to Fenland Council that unless they can install the shutters it is unlikely they could afford to remain open.

A supporting application to Fenland Council for permission to install shutters says the decision “was only taken to ensure that the store would be able to continue”.

The shop has been “repeatedly compromised over the years from previous criminal attacks. The only comprehensive measure left to prevent criminal damage and hence loss of service provision is to fit external roller shutters”.

The proposals have been put to Fenland planners by Ridge and Partners, consultants for Boots the Chemists.

“In our experience electrically operated shutters to entrance doors are the only security solution that provides a visual deterrent to vandals and intruders as well as providing a robust physical barrier,” says the company.

The statement adds that security breaches have had a negative impact on trade, staff morale and service provision.

They argue that shutters will have minimal impact on the character and appearance of the store and the surrounding area.

“The building is at significant risk and vulnerability to security breaches due to the huge value of goods and drugs sold and dispensed respectively within the store”, says the agents.

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

The company has ruled out laminated glass because of prohibitive costs and also ruled out dummy or real CCTV cameras as although these provide protection are not a significant visual deterrent in the event of a burglary.

They argue that the shutters will perform a strong physical barrier against intruders and “an aesthetically neutral appearance” that will allow stock still to be displayed safely at night.

They believe the proposals to the property “will cause no detrimental or negative affects towards the nature and architectural characteristics of the building, nor harm the significant of the building”.

The Horsefair was built during the 1980s and opened in 1988 and the agents say that although surrounded by historic and conservation area properties, the shopping centre is quite simply a modern, large development and not, therefore, subject to any restrictions.

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