More police needed in rural areas, say villagers targeted by alleged cash machine burglary
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Villagers have called on police to up the number of policeman in rural areas following an incident which saw five people allegedly try and steal a cash machine from a Co-op.
The Co-op in Kessingland, near Lowestoft, is now open again following the incident at around 2.40am on Monday morning.
Tiffany Bryant, 35, who works at the Village Fryer fish and chip shop and lives above the shop, said the incident reminded her of one from more than 15 years ago.
She said: 'We were shocked and you wouldn't expect it to happen in Kessingland to be honest. It is a quiet village and we don't expect that sort of thing.
'It does make you worry, it is too close for comfort.'
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Barry Last, 70, who runs Anglia Carpet Care from his Kessingland home, echoed the unusual nature of the incident.
He said: 'You wouldn't expect it. You only see police when they come through with the flashing blue lights.
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'The PCSO used to walk around during the day but it is in the summer time when you get people coming and making life hard for the residents and you never see a policeman.'
Waveney District Councillor for Kessingland, Bruce Provan, said more police in rural areas might stop people from targeting small villages.
He said: 'I do think that more police in rural areas would make a difference. Even if they don't catch people they would make a good deterrent.
'I have seen it happening in the news in other rural areas in Norfolk and Suffolk and it has come as a complete shock that it could happen in a place like this so I am very happy at the speed of the police response.'
Kessingland parish council chairman, Liam Martin, called on the Co-op to look at a relocation of their cash machine and said he understood the challenges facing police in rural areas.
He said: 'It must have caused a lot of concern and distress to people who live in the neighbourhood.
'I know that the Co-op have to put cash machines in the front of the premises but it was a bit of a temptation so maybe they can revise its location.'
He added: 'Rural policing is very difficult. It is a vast area to cover and with all the resources they have at the moment they cannot be everywhere. As an ex-policeman I sympathise with the problems they have.'
A 21-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy have been charged in connection with the incident and are due to appear at Norwich Magistrates' Court today.