POLICE: We’re not watching 17 hours of CCTV after vandalism

Selections' damaged door
Selections' damaged door

ALeighton Buzzard shopkeeper has hit out at police for ‘not reviewing enough CCTV footage’ after his High Street store was a victim of vandalism.

Upset proprietor, Philip Curtis, of Selections Pet and Garden Store, had his door window smashed in at the bottom, with glass shattering three metres into his shop.

The incident took place between early evening on Saturday, January 21, and mid-morning the next day.

But because it is a “low-level” crime, Beds Police say they will only look through two hours of the CCTV from the 17-hour window that the offence could have taken place in.

The vandalism resulted in two-and-a-half hours’ work to clear the mess up and a £55 bill for new laminated glass.

Philip said: “It’s just an unnecessary, violent act of vandalism and we are not the only ones who have been victims recently.”

He added: “Police were informed before we knew, and they called my cousin Matthew, proprietor of Selections Hardware, and we arrived after 11am. There was glass shattered all over the floor and it was chilly clearing it up!

“There’s a CCTV camera across the road at Peacocks, but the police only have a two hour window to look through the video from the council.

“The smashed window happened between Saturday evening and Sunday morning – too wide a timescale for them. I don’t think they’re bothered.

“We have generally low levels of crime but it would be nice if we had more levels of police presence in the town. The glass repair is £55 I’d rather not have spent!”

A Bedfordshire Police spokeswoman said: “We were called at approximately 11.25am on Sunday, January 22 to reports of a window being smashed at Selections shop in Leighton Buzzard.

“The incident is believed to have happened during a period of approximately 17 hours. This is considered too long a period for us to be able to provide a police officer to view it all.

“Anything less than two hours of footage is considered reasonable for an officer to view for low level crime, such as this case. Footage longer than two hours would only be viewed for more serious crimes or in exceptional circumstances.

“If the shop owner is able to identify a two-hour period in which the incident is believed to take place then we would view it, and we have already put in a request to the council to view a two-hour period of footage.

“We would also encourage any witnesses to the incident to contact us on 101.

“We have a dedicated policing team in place in Leighton Buzzard to tackle community issues such as drug dealing, anti-social behaviour, and dangerous motorbikes. The Op Sentinel team, which is made up of a sergeant and eight constables, was launched in October last year and has had a number of successes.

“The team regularly carries out proactive patrols around the town centre and focuses on dealing with the issues that matter most to those living in the area.”