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Drug problems blamed for break ins

A LERWICK businessman has spoken of his disillusion with life in the town after his company was broken into over the weekend and cash was stolen.

Thieves broke into G&S Flooring’s warehouse on the Gremista Industrial Estate some time between 5.10pm on Saturday and 8am on Monday morning, making off with money they found on the premises.

Two other town businesses were victims of thieves on the same night, with money stolen from Monty’s Bistro on Mounthooly Street, and damage caused to a shed door at RE Watt’s garage on the Gremista industrial estate, though nothing was taken.

Gary Williams, who employs 11 people at G&S Flooring, said that he had been badly affected by the break in and believes there is a crime wave being carried out in Lerwick by drug addicts looking for money to feed their habits.

“I have worked up here for a lot of years and I feel very disheartened by the state of things in the town,” he said.

“Maybe I have been lucky and got away with it for longer than most, but there’s been a lot of premises broken into and I am not happy with it at all.”

On Monday Mr Williams was already ordering CCTV cameras and new alarms for his premises and says he will never leave cash lying around on site again. “I am sorry it’s come to that. The previous owner of the business had it 25 years and we’ve had it eight years. In more than 30 years we’ve never had to take steps like this.”

He is clear that the problem is caused by the growing number of people taking hard drugs in Shetland.

“Lerwick has certainly changed from even 10 years ago. You see the evidence of drugs everywhere you go.

“Whatever habit they acquire they need a good sum of money to feed it and that leads to crime. I do sympathise with the police; they can’t be everywhere and the amount of drugs up here seems to be phenomenal.

“I think you will find there’s a huge part of the Shetland population that feels the same way I do. They have had enough of the drugs.”

Mr Williams said that he was more upset about the invasion of his privacy than the money that was taken. “You feel once they have done it they could do it again, but I will make sure if they do they are on candid camera.”

On Monday afternoon the police issued another reminder to businesses to make sure they had adequate security, making sure doors and windows, alarms systems and CCTV cameras and security lighting are all working properly.

They also advised companies not to leave money on the premises or in vehicles, and that vehicles and outbuildings are properly secured.