INDEPENDENT shopkeepers say a string of burglaries has made an already tough trading time even harder.

Oxford City Barbers in Oxford’s iconic Little Clarendon Street has been broken into twice in the past month.

Uncle Sam’s vintage clothing store and Ellie Sanderson bridal boutique, which are also in Little Clarendon Street, were targeted months earlier.

Muath Abujazar, owner of Oxford City Barbers, said: “We are a local business, the local people were disturbed, now they keep asking us who will be next.

“It has been really bad the last year for businesses here and I need to see more police patrolling the area.

“This is one of the most important cities in the world. If we don’t have security we can’t live safely.”

On Christmas Eve, thieves broke a window in the shopfront to steal petty cash.

Then, after closing on New Year’s Eve, thieves struck again some time between 5pm and 10am, breaking a different window and stealing £200 in cash, handbags and watches.

The shop was left with a bill for £5,000.

Two months earlier thieves had also snatched seven handbags from a stall outside the shop.

Mr Abujazar said: “Of course we have struggled for the past few years.

“Small, local businesses are struggling more and at the same time idiots come and steal from your business, not thinking you’ve got a wife and family to feed.”

Uncle Sam’s employee Mahmood Mohammed said £300 had been stolen from the shop in two separate break-ins in October and July.

He said: “It is unsafe. Of course if we had more police here it would be good for us.

“Getting burgled only makes it harder.”

In June two laptops and petty cash were stolen from Ellie Sanderson bridal shop.

Little Clarendon Street resident Jon Gordon, 31, said: ‘It’s incredible that such a major street in the city centre can be so routinely subjected to criminal and antisocial infractions.”

He added the street needed more police patrols and better CCTV coverage.

Police said there was “partial” CCTV coverage of Little Clarendon Street.

Oxford local policing area commander Supt Chris Sharp said: “Thames Valley Police has protected frontline policing and there has been no reduction in frontline police officers.

“Any cuts have been from backroom staff and our visibility on the streets remains as high as ever.”

Police confirmed all the incidents had been reported to officers.

Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call 101.