Merseyside Police sent a PCSO on a push bike to reports that a business was in the middle of being burgled by a masked gang for the second time in eight days.
The owner of Spoilt Brats Children Boutique, in Moreton, said shopkeepers in the area are losing faith in Merseyside Police’s control of the area following the double raid on his business.
The clothes shop, on Hoylake Road, was targeted by burglars on both December 12 and December 20 as the premises suffered two break-ins in the run up to Christmas.
The owners said they have since received an apology from officers because of their below par response to an ongoing problem.
Police say they have stepped up patrols in the area but Sam Islam, whose wife Deborah Cummings runs the shop, said the incidents had left him concerned about the confidence of burglars.
Speaking about the second raid Sam, who runs the Spice Club restaurant next door to Spoilt Brats, said: “I was in the restaurant cooking and my manager came up and said ‘I’m sure your shop alarm is going off’. I went to check and as I was going out I could hear the alarm. I went outside and didn’t take anybody with me – I thought who’s going to target my shop at 7pm on a Sunday night?
“I was thinking it was a false alarm and went in the back… they were still in the place with the alarm screaming – that’s how cheeky they were.
“I could hear them inside. At that point I thought I wasn’t prepared for them, I went back and a few of my friends came out.”
When he returned he was assaulted before the gang fled in a car. To Sam’s frustration, he claimed: “There were four armed men in balaclavas and a push bike patrol attended. How reassuring is that?”
Nothing was taken in the second raid, though clothes were taken in the first burglary of the premises.
Sam said he had heard other businesses had been targeted in Moreton in recent months, adding: “I didn’t see one police car drive past [in between the dates of the two burglaries]. If this is the police presence in the area then what do we do? How much worse does it need to get? Every time they get away with it.”
Wirral Chief Inspector Paul Sutcliffe said: “We recognise that following the report of the burglary on Sunday, December 20 that our response was not proportionate and not up to the standard expected of Merseyside Police and for that we apologise.
“This was a particularly busy evening, but we understand how this must have been very distressing for the proprietor and we should have responded more appropriately and more quickly. My neighbourhood officers have since been to visit the shop to reassure the owner that we are investigating this incident thoroughly and we take these incidents very seriously. We are pursuing a number of enquiries in relation to both burglaries.”
Crime scene investigators attended the shop following both incidents and forensic enquiries are continuing. CCTV from the shop and surrounding areas is also being examined.
Ch Insp Sutcliffe added: “Neighbourhood officers have stepped up patrols in the Moreton area and with CID colleagues, are also running an operation in the area, specifically to target those criminals involved in burglaries and any similar offences.
“I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to the public for assistance in bringing these offenders to justice. We are particularly keen to speak with anyone who was in the area on Sunday, December 20 who saw a silver coloured Vauxhall Insignia to get in contact on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”