Shopkeepers based half a mile apart say shoplifting is on the rise with police resources too stretched to catch offenders.
Amit Odedra, owner of the One Stop in Paston Lane, Walton, said it was “a little bit soul destroying” to see his hard work undermined by regular thefts, while Billy Maher, who owns the Nisa in Hallfields Lane, Gunthorpe, said it was “pointless” him paying for the force through his council tax.
Mr Maher has put up CCTV images of the thefts inside his shop, and he claims on one occasion somebody paid for the item they had taken to have their photo removed. He said: “I understand police are stretched, but you keep ignoring things they will get worse.
“I do not bother calling the police now. They just give you a crime number and that’s the end of it. I never hear back.”
Mr Odedra said he gave the police CCTV images but that nothing was happening.
“He added: “If they keep getting away with it they will keep doing it. The police response is not satisfactory at all, but I can’t blame them as their resources have been cut back severely and they have bigger crimes to investigate.”
City councillor for the area Darren Fower said: “How, at a time when we contribute a higher percentage of our council tax than ever before to Cambridgeshire police, are local people simply not getting the service they deserve?”
Police said since April they had been called four times to the One Stop, with one person being charged, but not to the Nisa. A spokesman said the force takes thefts seriously but that they have to prioritise every call. He added: “Local policing teams target repeat offenders, many of whom are drug or alcohol dependant, and work with partners to provide them with pathways away from crime.”