Trainees with learning disabilities in tears after burglars once again break into Romford cafe

Jackson's Cafe, High Street, Romford, has been broken into again. Picture: Tracey Brennan

Jackson's Cafe, High Street, Romford, has been broken into again. Picture: Tracey Brennan - Credit: Tracey Brennan

People with learning disabilities who are employed at a cafe were left “distressed” after another break-in.

Jackson's Cafe, High Street, Romford, fell victim once again to burglars who kicked in a window to gain entry sometime after 10pm on Tuesday, May 28.

Manager Tracey Brennan says she first knew something was wrong yesterday morning, Wednesday, May 29, when she was walking over to the cafe and a passer-by said police were waiting for her outside the business.

"It's dreadful to have this happen to us again", she said.

"I came and spoke to police and then the trainees started turning up and they were really distressed, some of them were crying.

"For autistic people, danger and trust are huge on their radar and to have another break-in is making it difficult for them to feel safe and secure at the cafe.

"I just feel so numb and frustrated."

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Jackson's Cafe, which is supported by The Camden Society, has been open in Romford since around 1993 where they offer 40 training places every week to people with learning disabilities.

Over the years, the cafe has helped hundreds through a two-year NVQ course teaching skills such as food preparation and working front of house.

Two years ago, the glass door had been shattered by burglars who stop the tip box and the safe that was ripped out of the wall which contained around £1,200.

The community also got behind the cafe in 2016 when a fire broke out, destroying a lot of its equipment.

Since the last burglary, Jackson's Cafe ramped up its security so was lucky that nothing was stolen.

However, the cafe has had to pay out to fix the window as well as to once again improve its security.

Tracey: "We can't continue like this, something's got to give.

"We need CCTV in this area to help protect the shops in the High Street.

"But you know us, we won't let this bring us down for long.

"We'll pick ourselves up again, get the trainees back in and carry on."