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Police on the beat to give advice

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: June 25, 2014

  • DEGM20140620D-002_C.JPG DEGM20140620D-002_C.JPG Pictures By: Geoff Merryweather

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POLICE officers have been quick to reassure town centre business owners there is no cause for alarm following two overnight burglaries.

A team of four officers from Ashbourne's Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) went on patrol around shops in the town, offering advice to owners on how to keep premises safe from burglars and looking for any obvious weakness in current security.

The campaign was prompted by two town centre break-ins, when thieves targetedChimes cafe, in St John Street, and Equatorial in Victoria Square.

Ashbourne's sergeant Den-is Murphy was responsible for organising the event.

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He said: "During the summer months, crime incidents can occasionally surge – even in a safe place like Ashbourne.

"We are determined to do all that we can to ensure that fewer people become victims."

John Paul (JP) Rodgers, the owner of Equatorial, said: "To be fair to the police, it shows willing that they have taken the incidents seriously and shown a presence.

"I have run shops in inner city London, Nottingham and Manchester with plenty of incidents so despite what happened I don't feel Ashbourne is an unsafe town to run a business.

"It just keeps us on our toes to up our security procedures when we go years without an incident. I've got no complaints with that."

The Safer Neighbourhood policing team is currently investigating both crimes and looking into a number of leads.

Sgt Murphy appealed for anyone with information to get in touch.

He said: "Ashbourne people have traditionally responded in a magnificent way to suspicious behaviour and incidents and long may this continue."

The burglaries took place sometime between 6.30pm on Monday, June 16 and 9.30am on Tuesday 17.

A number of valuable items were reported stolen from Chimes, including a couple of Danish Design wristwatches valued at £350 each.

The cafe suffered a break in last November, but Smith's Tavern landlord David Leigh gave chase and caught the burglar.

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