Calls for greater security at Peterborough’s Westgate Arcade after axe attack

Shop owners in Westgate Arcade have criticised Queensgate after suffering recent break-ins.

Friday, 17th May 2019, 7:00 am

The Oculist opticians was broken into by a person with an axe last Thursday evening, with shop director Gerry Sondh saying it was the second time his business had been targeted in the past year.

Mr Sondh said both break-ins had occurred since Queensgate began closing the shutters at the arcade later in the evening, which he is worried is compromising city centre security.

He said: “An hour after the person with axe had come by a family with young children walked by.

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The aftermath of the damage to The Oculist in Westgate Arcade

“The call out to replace the glass is £350 and there’s the disruption to your home life.

“The original agreement was Westgate shuts at 10 o’clock at night. Those hours have been extended and there was no consultation.”

Fortunately, nothing was stolen on Thursday night, but Mr Sondh claimed other shops had been targeted recently.

One of those was Phone Trader. Owner Shahzad Gill said his shop had been broken into twice in the past year, and also remarked that the shutters were coming down later, adding: “I asked Queensgate if they can shut the shutters in the evening.

“We pay the rent and service charge - they should be able to do something.”

Queensgate declined to comment.

Police were called at 10.30pm on Thursday to The Oculist. Anyone with information on the break-in should call police on 101.