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Armed robbery puts Penkridge traders in fear

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: October 20, 2013

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WORRIED Penkridge traders fear they are a sitting target for criminals and are calling for more policing in the wake of an armed raid on a village supermarket. 

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Members of the business association want more officers on patrol as they say the village is vulnerable.

They claim there have been numerous problems, with forged notes going around, and many business owners are frightened.

The concern follows an armed robbery at the Co-op in Wolverhampton Road at around 5.30am on September 26.

A gang, including one waving a hammer, burst in through the front doors and forced staff into a store room before stealing a large haul of cigarettes.

Councillor Ann Geoghegan, also a member of the Penkridge Business Association, told Penkridge Parish Council: “Members feel we do not get enough policing.

"Businesses are reporting that there are a number of forged notes going around. They are concerned about who will come in next.”

Councillor Anthony Minshall said: “People are worried about coming in to work in case something happens.

“We are an open village. The motorway is at the rear end. It is easy for someone to pop in to do a robbery and pop out again. There is nothing to stop them.

“By the time you call 101 and the PCSO arrives the perpetrators have disappeared and there is no trace of anything. I think it is important that we reiterate there is no security in this village.”

A new police commander for South Staffordshire Geoff Knight has taken over the area and has told members he is planning a re-organisation of policing in the village.

He said: “As part of my re-modelling plan I will be introducing closer contact and more frequent

attendance to parish council meetings by neighbourhood officers and police community support officers.

“This can be combined with community contact records to inform where the immediate threats to the communities are.”

The changes could also potentially include another PCSO for the area.

Parish councillors said they would write to Mr Knight to say they had a room available at the Haling Dene Centre which could be used as a police post.

Chairman Councillor Sandra Chambers added: “A village of this size should have a big police presence. Businesses are feeling vulnerable and that shouldn’t be happening.”

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