Thieves hide behind new CCTV ‘blind spot’ bollards to steal from Sheffield shop

The owner of a Sheffield convenience store has appealed to the council to move bollards that are creating a ‘blind spot’ in front of his shop which enabled thieves to steal £15,000 worth of goods this week while out of view of CCTV or passers by.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 8:26 am
The damaged entrance to the shop.

Imran Khan’s shop Hallam Booze, on Sheaf Street opposite the train station, was burgled in the early hours of September 16. Thieves made off with £15,000 worth of cigarettes and a till system.

Although Mr Khan’s own CCTV cameras were able to get some footage of a man entering his shop, the concrete bollards on the street meant that the council’s cameras, which are mounted on a pole opposite the shop, were unable to record the incident.

This is because the thief crouched down, using the long bollards as cover, and broke open Mr Khan’s shutters and smashed the bottom half of his glass door while on his knees.

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The bollards in front of Hallam Booze

Mr Khan said: "The council’s CCTV cameras Sheffield can’t get the footage because of the massive parking bollards in front of the shop. So that has helped the thieves to get into my store.

“The thief knew about this. He was on his knees so the cameras and the oncoming traffic could not see what was happening at the front of the shop because of the bollards.

“I asked the council to get them moved. They can stay in the area but need to be in a different position so the cameras need to be able to see to protect our businesses.”

Mr Khan said that since the bollards were put in place he has had more trouble running his shop than before.

The damage done to Imran Khan's shop

“I have had this shop here for 15 years and I have never had any issues before, but since the bollards were put in we have had no cover from thieves,” he said.

"I have not complained before because the bollards are there to solve a parking issue, which I support. But now they are helping thieves rob businesses. It has happened now and it will happen again.

“If those bollards had not been there then somebody would have seen the thief and stopped them getting in. There is always traffic on the road and if the bollards were not there it would be easy to see any thieves.

“And even if the thief did get in the cameras would be able to see them if the bollards were not in the way."

Footage from the shop's CCTV of the thief crouching while robbing the shop in order to avoid being seen.

As well as the bollards, there is a tree outside Hallam Booze which also obstructs the view of the cameras, which Mr Khan believes also enables thieves.

He said: “On this road is my business, and another next door, and a takeaway further down. How are we going to survive if burglaries happening?

South Yorkshire Police is investigating the break-in and theft.

A spokesperson for the force said: “Officers were called at 8.30am on Wednesday 16 September, following reports that persons unknown had forced entry to Hallam Booze on Leadmill Road, Sheffield, causing damage. A quantity of money is believed to have been taken.”

The council's CCTV camera is mounted on top of a pole opposite the shop on the street.

Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting incident number 176 of 16 September 2020.

Sheffield City Council has been contacted for comment.

The tree which also blocks the view of the camera.
Damage done to the shop
Damage to the inside of the shop