Elm Park shop owners ‘under siege’ thanks to rise in burglaries

PUBLISHED: 08:00 30 March 2018

Elm Park shop owners with Councillor Barry Mugglestone and Stephanie Nunn.

Elm Park shop owners with Councillor Barry Mugglestone and Stephanie Nunn.

Barry Mugglestone

Shop owners feel they are “under siege” after a spate of burglaries, leaving many concerned about their businesses.

Over the past few months, a number of break-ins and attempted burglaries have taken place in Station Parade, The Broadway and Elm Park Avenue, Elm Park.

When the Recorder visited the area, a majority of shops in the town said they had either suffered at the hands of burglars or were aware of the growing problem, describing it as “frustrating”.

Dirk Peachy, who owns Charlotte’s Dry Cleaners in Station Parade, has been broken into twice since January and spent thousands of pounds on installing new security.

He said: “Elm Park has a problem, as scumbags have obviously moved into the area and now they’re starting to cause trouble for a lot of us. At the moment, we are under siege and it doesn’t seem like a lot is being done to help.”

Councillor Barry Mugglestone (Hornchurch Residents’ Association) wants more to be done to help put a stop to the spate of crimes in the area.

He said: “What the shop owners are enduring at present is very sad. We have contacted the council and are awaiting a response to see what actions will be taken to help the owners.

“The Elm Park shop owners are hard working good people and we are not going to let a few toerags cause a problem.”

During the end of last year, owner of Nasir Optics Ash Nasir had around £5,000 worth of items stolen from the shop and is worried about the affect it is having on Elm Park.

He said: “It is terrifying, I live here, this is my livelihood and everyone along the parade are nice people and this is affecting all of their lives as well. We don’t want this to become the norm.”

An attempted burglary also took place at the Co-op in Station Parade on March 15 at 2.45am when the shutters had been forced open and a window was broken.

A Co-op spokesman said it is appealing for anyone with information to go to the police.

Abbas Mughal, who owns FSL Dry Cleaners in The Broadway, is calling for more action after his till was stolen during a second break-in.

“We need more police patrols in the evenings to put these people off from coming near the shops”, he said.

“I think in one month, there has been almost one burglary or attempted burglary everyday – it’s frightening.”

Insp Jenny Moore of the of the Havering Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “We are reminding shop owners to remain vigilant and to keep their ground floor windows locked and to keep an eye out for one another.

“If you do see anything suspicious, do get in touch with your local police.”

To speak to your local safer neighbourhood team, visit

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Romford Recorder