‘It’s diabolical’ - businesses speak out after shop raid

Neimantas jewellers, Commercial Street, Brighouse.
Neimantas jewellers, Commercial Street, Brighouse.
  • Traders in town centre frightened and furious
  • Police say criminals are NOT welcome on our streets
  • Does more need to be done to protect our shops and businesses?

Brighouse businesses have spoken of their shock and fear after raiders struck at a jewellery store in the town.

Robbers hit Neimantas, Commercial Street, at around 5pm last Thursday. The raid was the third robbery on a jewellery shop in Calderdale in one week.

Whilst there have been no physical injuries sustained during the incidents, clearly this has been very distressing for victims, and has caused understandable concern across the communities of Calderdale.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Gibson of Calderdale Police

Catherine Wormald, manager of Hallmark Cards, Commercial Street, said: “I think it’s diabolical. There should be a rail that goes right around, there needs to be some protection.

“It’s not the first time it’s happened, they think they can just get away with anything. It’s upsetting.”

Lydia Baldwin works next door to the store at Peter David Properties and saw the incident unfold.

She said: “There was a really loud bang, I locked us all in the office because you just don’t know what those sort of people are going to do.

“A few lads from Wilko’s came to try and help, but it all happened really fast and the police came really quickly.”

Sharron Bielby, owner of nearby Sandy and Bielby Podiatry and Chiropody, was one of the first people on the scene after the shocking raid and ran out after hearing a loud smash.

She said: “Everyone was out, the window was all smashed and the man from the shop looked green.

“He was trapped inside because the door was buckled and twisted and there was watches all over the floor. It makes you feel very frightened.”

It’s not the first time Neimantas has been targeted and in the wake of the latest raid, Steven Lord, from the Brighouse Business Initiative, thinks that a ‘shop watch’ scheme should be set up.

He said: “I think we should have some kind of organisation of some kind, like a shop watch scheme. If anyone saw anyone suspicious about, they could ring around to the next shop. I’m sure that would make a real difference.”

Police in Calderdale have vowed to bring the perpetrators of this type of crime to justice.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Gibson, of Calderdale Police, said: “Whilst there have been no physical injuries sustained during the incidents, clearly this has been very distressing for victims, and has caused understandable concern across the communities of Calderdale.

“I would like to thank those in Brighouse on Thursday who made efforts to apprehend the suspects even though they were believed to be in possession of weapons, showing great bravery and selflessness, and true community spirit in their actions.

“I would also like to thank the members of the public and local businesses owners around the targeted premises for their continued support and cooperation and for coming forward with information to assist with our enquiries. If anyone who has any information who has not yet come forward, I would ask for them to do so.

“We have a large number of officers dedicated to these enquiries. Criminals targeting our communities are not welcome on our streets and we will do everything within our power to detect offences, apprehend those responsible and bring them to justice.”

Three men charged in connection with the spate of Calderdale robberies will appear at Bradford Crown Court next month.

William Cochrane, 38; Richard Cochrane, 36; and Scott Lister, 29, all of West Parade, Halifax, were all charged over the Neimantas raid.

William and Richard Cochrane have also been charged in connection with a robbery at Kingston Diamond Merchants, Halifax, last Tuesday.

All three will appear at Bradford Crown Court on August 1.