Calls for CCTV cameras in Belsize Park streets after £30k smash-and-grab spree

A CCTV still from the Taherah Indian restaurant.

A CCTV still from the Taherah Indian restaurant. - Credit: Archant

Business owners in Belsize Park have made a desperate plea for CCTV in the streets and better police protection after a £30,000 smash-and-grab spree has seen at least six shops targeted in as many weeks.

Taherah CCTV stills 5

Taherah CCTV stills 5 - Credit: Archant

Concerned residents and independent traders have called on Camden Council along with the police investigating the complaints to do more to protect them.

Angela King, sales director at Heywoods Estate Agents, in Belsize Lane, said: “I hope that we can have some more police presence in the village and maybe the idea of the CCTV in the streets would help deter then as well - except many now use hoodies, crash helmets and the like to heavily disguise themselves,”

Ward councillor Claire-Louise Leyland is to raise their demand for CCTV with the council.

As reported in the Ham&High, a wave of burglaries over the festive period saw Sylvester Fine Art, in Belsize Lane, burgled for a £20,000 painting after a window was broken in the early hours of December 21.

Taherah CCTV stills 8

Taherah CCTV stills 8 - Credit: Archant

Raiders have also targeted Crescent Fruiterers, the Late Late Store supermarket and most recently the Taherah Indian restaurant next door which was targeted in the early hours of last Saturday.

Taherah manager Mujibur Rahman described how a lone hooded male broke off the locks to the front entrance before rifling through the cash register. The images were captured on the shop’s internal CCTV.

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“One person came into the restaurant and he took our till, around £1,000 in cash, and a bottle of wine,” he confirmed. “We need CCTV coverage, police patrols and awareness among local residents,” he said.

David Farley, manager of Crescent Fruiterers, has described how his shop was “ransacked” on December 18.

Burglars broke in and made off with a large pot containing weeks’ worth of pennies and five pence pieces totalling up to £500.

“It was so heavy, I can’t believe they took it to be honest with you,” Mr Farley said.

Mr Farley is considering installing his own CCTV inside his shop.

Ali Khan, a store worker at The Late Late Store, also confirmed the store had been struck twice in December when criminals snatched up to £6,000 worth of cigarettes £3,000 in cash. Police have handed out crime prevention leaflets in the area in the aftermath of the raids.