Words by Katie Duffin
In recent months, many of Cardiff’s favourite restaurants and cafes have fallen victim to a series of burglaries and break-ins. Bloc Coffee and Wild Thing are just two establishments that have been targeted by groups of thieves, and have been left with heavy hearts and mounting repair fees. Many businesses around the city are now working alongside South Wales Police, in the hopes of deterring those committing the break-ins.
Since the beginning of the year, many commercial businesses around the city have been broken into; alongside Bloc Coffee and Wild Thing, popular establishments such as Giovanni’s, Coffi Co, and Dusty Knuckle have fallen victim to such crimes. In the past two months the city has averaged one business raid a day, with small independent businesses bearing the brunt of the crimes. The break-ins are hugely disheartening for these small businesses particularly, costing them valuable time, resources and money to repair damages and get up and running again. Moreover, more money is lost for every day that businesses are shut for repairs.
Those committing the crimes have often gained entry by smashing through windows and doors, only to rifle through tills and leave with less than £10 in their pockets. As a result of this, establishments such as Coffi Co have publicly announced they will no longer take cash payments. One of the businesses affected, who would prefer to remain anonymous, have said:
“It’s the frustration and inconvenience of it that’s the worst part. Once you’ve got over the initial shock of tidying up and managing the staff and service for the day, you then need to sort out replacement windows, which is something you really don’t need as a business. Balance that with the measly sums taken, it’s pointless.”
They go on to describe how insurance claims can be impossible or totally pointless due to premiums rising the following year, meaning money is coming directly out of their pockets for no real reason.
In a notice issued by the South Wales Police, it has emerged that an operation has been launched to tackle the rise in commercial burglaries in the popular areas of Cardiff Bay, Grangetown and Canton. In response to the burglaries, which have repeatedly taken place in the early hours of the morning, the statement reads: “As part of the police operation, response and neighbourhood officers have been given specific areas to patrol at specific times in an effort to prevent further burglaries and arrest those responsible”.
Local Policing Inspector for Cardiff Bay, Phil Griffiths, has said: “Being a victim of burglary, whether it’s your home, your business, or where you work is a traumatic experience and we are working hard to put a stop to this recent rise in commercial burglaries.
“We believe that one or two groups of people are responsible because the method in many of these burglaries is so similar.
“We would ask business to review their security systems and make it clear that there is no cash on the premises overnight.”
As citizens of Cardiff, we can show our support for these local businesses by raising awareness of these crimes and continuing to visit them. As a community it is important to be vigilant of anyone seen hanging around businesses or retail premises during the early hours of the morning.
If anyone is seen acting suspiciously please call South Wales Police immediately.
Anyone with information on who is involved in these burglaries is asked to contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting occurrence number *403881.