Police hunt for knife wielding robbers who threatened to stab retired doctor
PUBLISHED: 16:00 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:00 19 December 2018
Police continue to hunt the masked men who held two women at knife point during an attempted jewellery store robbery.
The terrifying ordeal at Oliver and J Jewellery in Blyburgate, Beccles, comes just weeks after the town was stripped of its police presence.
Owner Renee Kathuria was behind the counter when two masked men burst into the shop, threatened her and an employee and attempted to break into a cabinet on Tuesday, December 18.
The retired GP said: “It is a surprise when you realise it is real, he did threaten to stab me, but my main thought was to keep calm.”
Dr Kathuria said she was “irritated” by the attempted robbery but held no grudges towards the men.
She said: “I do hope police catch them because I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else. But I am a big believer in trying to be helpful and kind to everyone.”
As part of Suffolk Police’s new neighbourhood model Beccles has lost the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) based in the town and is now covered by police based in Lowestoft.
Tony Slade, who owns nearby A Slade Guitars, described Beccles as a “town of two sides” and said the lack of police presence in the area has caused a spike in crimes.
He said: “This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, in the evening you get all the drunks come through and during the day you walk around not have to think who is walking next to you - we haven’t got Bobby on the beat.”
“It’s not the police’s fault but you can’t run the police force like a business.”
Earlier this week Sue and Steve Taylor, who own Sewing and Handicraft on Blyburgate, had a traffic cone hurled through their front window by drunken revellers.
Mrs Taylor said: “It is so scary and frightening especially because it takes 20 minutes for police to arrive.
“Everyone perceives Beccles as a low crime area, they just think we’re sleepy Beccles,”
While Dr Kathuria agreed there had been “major cut backs” to community policing, she said the officers were “wonderful” and arrived quickly.
Beccles has recently lost Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) operating in the town.