Helping hand for city businesses hit by burglary spree

Martin Blackwell, of Norwich BID, has commented on the support on offer for businesses targeted by the recent break-ins

Martin Blackwell, of Norwich BID, has commented on the support on offer for businesses targeted by the recent spate of break-ins - Credit: David Cross/Norwich BID

Support is being offered to city centre businesses after a spate of break-ins across Norwich. 

Police forensic officers have become a frequent sight in recent weeks following burglaries which has cost the city's hospitality sector thousands of pounds. 

At least eight venues have been targeted by thieves with Ber Street Kitchen on the receiving end of four separate break-ins at the premises during January.

In response to the trend, Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) has set up new sector specific training to help create safe environments for leisure and hospitality settings. 

This includes training on conflict management, vulnerability management and age verification.

Martin Blackwell, joint head of operations for Norwich BID, said: "Our hospitality sector has had a very tough couple of years, and Norwich BID can offer support in a few ways.

Martin Blackwell of Norwich BID. Picture: Norwich BID

Martin Blackwell of Norwich BID. Picture: Norwich BID - Credit: Norwich BID

"Our free Crime Reduction Schemes provide practical solutions to theft. Our data sharing network DISC helps to identify crime patterns and highlight known offenders.

"Push to Talk enables instant contact to share incidents and alerts as they happen, and the National Business Crime Solution keeps businesses and the police in the loop on criminal activity throughout the country." 

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Police enquiries are ongoing following the break-ins.

The businesses targeted were The Red Lion pub in Bishopgate, The Bengal Spice Indian restaurant in St Benedicts Street, as well as Figbar and Salt over the Christmas period. 

Patisserie Valerie and Ber Street Kitchen have also been burgled this year.

Wayne Chapman, owner of The Ber Street Kitchen in Norwich 

Wayne Chapman, owner of The Ber Street Kitchen in Norwich - Credit: Ben Hardy

Police are also investigating a theft from Moolah's Convenience Store, in White Lion Street, which took place between 4.30pm and 4.45pm when suspects stole vape items from the shop.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk Police confirmed enquiries are ongoing into this incident.

There were also break-ins at the XO Kitchen and Field's News in London Street in November.

A smashed window at the London Street newsagents following the burglary on Friday

A smashed window at the London Street newsagents following the burglary on Friday - Credit: David Cross

Any Norwich business wanting to find out more information about the free membership of DISC should get in touch with Norwich BID.

Anyone concerned about the break-ins can also attend the first Business Crime Forum which takes place this month.

Further information on Norwich BID can be found at www.norwichbid.co.uk