A DEFIANT businesswoman is urging the community to come together to find ways to combat a recent spike in commercial crime.
Jo Ferns, who owns Jo Ferns Hair Salon at Lydgate, is inviting locals both commercial and non commercial to a special meeting at the White Hart on Monday, February 15 at 6pm.
There she will discuss a plan of action and welcome ideas about what businesses can do to protect themselves and help each other as the community endures a rise in burglaries.
Two local councillors along with members of the Saddleworth police will also be in attendance.
Jo’s move comes after her salon was targeted twice by thieves in the last six weeks, leaving her with hefty bills of more than £1,000 to replace the shop windows.
In the most recent break-in last weekend, the front door was smashed and the alarm ripped out before thieves took the till, IPad, laptop and stock.
Jo said: “I was warned we might be burgled – but still there was no police presence in the area all and that’s disgusting.
“We’ve been told to get shutters and CCTV but we can’t afford all that. I’ve got about 20 windows around the shop I would have to cover.”
“I have a feeling they are going to come back now they know what we have,” she added.
“My staff saw three men hanging around watching the shop a few days before but apart from that we’ve nothing to go on to catch anyone.”
Now, Jo is urging the community to pull together to help each other and protect themselves.
She explained: “We need to protect ourselves, perhaps drum up a fund to get security vans driving around if that’s what it takes and we can’t have the police.
“We should have government funding for cameras tracking cars in and out of the area so we can see any connections.
“Otherwise this is just going to keep on happening and in the end it will force small businesses to close down.”
Other businesses across the area have also fallen victim, including Ruger barbers at Lydgate, Neil Mellor’s butchers, 20-20 Opticians, Betty’s and Muse in Uppermill.
Band clubs and conservative clubs across the vllages have also been targets including those in Delph, Dobcross, Greenfield and Uppermill.
The police have sent out a letter to the public warning them to be extra careful as they have seen a rise in commercial burglaries across the area, with 21 recorded since December 1, 2015.
“Please do not leave anything of value on display and remember to take all money/float out of the premises before locking up.
“It is always a good idea that we are up to date with any key holders for businesses and homes in case any thing happens whilst you are away.
“If you are in need of advice or assistance then please don’t hesitate in calling Police.”
The Oldham Borough Police team can be contacted by calling 0161 8568825 or email email@example.com or call 101 in a non-emergency or 999 in an emergency.