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I have to start this month with reflections on the spate of shop break ins which have occurred recently. Four shops have now been hit. Both Chemists, where perfume was the target, Radley Opticians, where designer sunglasses were taken and the latest the Isabel Hospice Charity shop, where the safe and money were taken. All of these are terrible but to target a Charity Shop is beyond belief and perhaps demonstrates the type of person or persons we are up against.

It is very difficult to know what can be done about this. CCTV could possibly help but serious criminals tend to keep faces hidden behind hoodies/masks which can nullify CCTV identification. Radley Opticians had burglar alarms installed which were activated but the culprits were long gone by the time Police responded. We need prevention schemes and the Police are best placed to comment on what these could or should be. I am sure whatever they come up with will be caveated with cost implications. Duncan Wallace and our police do a fantastic job but are just not resourced or funded to be able to prevent crimes perpetrated in the early hours of the morning, as was the case with all the shop incidents.

I would hate to think that we need to become a Town where all shops have steel shutters for protection. Something has to happen though otherwise this trend is likely to continue. Such a shame that this is happening to our Town which has always been such a safe and welcoming place up to now. The Civic Society will be happy to be involved in any initiatives that could lead to a safer environment in our Town.

The Civic Society's Buntingford in Bloom goes ahead this year. Entry forms will shortly be delivered to all houses in Buntingford, or you can use the one included in the Journal (see page 12). Entries must be submitted by 18th June and judging day will be 14th July.

The Buntingford Community Area Bus is now up and running. This is a great scheme which appears, at the moment, to be very under-utilised. I would urge people to use it - a guide to timings has been issued to every household so why not see if it can help you. It must beat walking to the Town in all the wet weather we have had recently!

A polite reminder to members. Renewal letters will be with you shortly with renewal monies due 1st May. We thank you all for your support over the years and trust that we can rely on your patronage again for the coming year.

Graham Bonner, Chairman, Buntingford Civic Society

If you have any queries about Buntingford Civic Society or issues you would like to raise, you can email the Chairman direct at chairman@buntingfordcivic.org.uk.

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