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Burnley magistrate hits out at police after raid
3:00pm Thursday 30th January 2014 in News
A MAGISTRATE whose home was raided by thieves in broad daylight said criminals in Burnley ‘just don’t care’ about offending as there are so few police patrolling the area.
Abid Sharif said a gang of thieves stole property and caused £9,500 of damage when they ransacked his home in Ivan Street, Queensgate.
The father-of-three said he believed the offenders were targeting his home for gold, following similar burglaries of Asian households.
The magistrate’s wedding ring was among the jewellery and electrical goods taken.
Mr Sharif said his neighbour’s CCTV camera captured the burglars circling the area in a car, then knocking on his front door for five minutes.
The offenders then ripped a rear window off its hinges with a crowbar, climbed into the house, breaking a £1,600 dining table, then tearing doors off wardrobes and cupboards.
Mr Sharif said: “It was the first time I had left the house in days, and I was only out of the house for an hour. I try and stay at home as much as I can because of the number of burglaries around here.
“Criminals just don’t care. It’s frightening that it can happen in the middle of the day on a busy road, just across from the pub. There’s been about eight or nine burglaries in Queensgate in the last year.
“My neighbour, who has four children, had her window smashed while she was alone with them in the house. It’s upsetting. I worry about it happening to my wife when I’m not here.
“You used to see local bobbies walking in the street during the day around here. But now because of budget cuts, you can go days without seeing police.”
Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, said: “Keeping people safe, especially those who are most vulnerable, remains my utmost priority. Both the Chief Constable and I remain committed to neighbourhood policing and recognise their vital presence in building safe and confident communities.”
A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said the burglary happened at around 1.40pm on January 22.
She said: “A PlayStation 3, a Sony laptop, a Samsung mobile phone, a digital camera, a watch, and several items of gold jewellery were stolen during the incident.
“Anyone with information should call police on 101.”
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