A FISHMONGER is calling for more security measures at Oxford Covered Market after thieves stole hundreds of pounds worth of fish from his shop.

Maciek Lach, 38, manager of Pershore Sea Food, received a call from the Covered Market manager at 6am yesterday saying his shop had been broken into.

He immediately rushed to the market to find thieves had broken his kitchen door, stolen £350 worth of fish, an unknown amount of money and his laptop.

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Mr Lach said: “It’s not good at all. Customers have asked me all morning what has happened but what can you do? I just try to be positive.”

Although there are CCTV cameras at the entrances to the covered market, the fishmonger said this was not good enough and blamed market owner Oxford City Council for not having better security measures in place.

The Oxford Times:

He said: “There need to be more cameras throughout the market – not just in the entrance.

"What about down the walkways and by the traders themselves? As a small independent shop, I can’t afford to install CCTV myself.”

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The fishmonger believes the thieves snuck into the back of the market, where deliveries are made, via a fire door, then climbed onto the roof and entered through a window.

Mr Lach, who opened the store in November in the space formerly occupied by Haymans fishmongers, said: “We need more security for all traders here and the council need to do something to secure the market, including the roof windows.

The Oxford Times:

“After this incident, I’ll definitely put CCTV in my shop now. I don’t care about the cost anymore – it’s less stress than this.”

Mr Lach said his business was popular with residents in Oxford and had lost out on a good day of business.

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He said: “For this to happen on a Friday morning isn’t great as we usually get around 100 to 150 customers and make around £600 which we have now also lost.

“Our customers always give us great feedback. There are no fishmongers in the city centre so it’s a great feeling to be able to serve people, but today has not been great.”

The Oxford Times:

Thames Valley Police confirmed that it had received a report of a burglary which it was investigating, and said no arrests had been made last night.

There is currently no CCTV outside the market although there are cameras in the neighbouring construction site and at Lincoln College which is next to the back of the market.

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Some traders in the Covered Market have installed their own CCTV cameras outside their shops, including Cards Galore, phone accessory shop Oxinspired, John Gowing Goldsmiths and florist The Garden.

Steven Port, manager at Cards Galore, said: “CCTV has been in operation here for a year now but the market altogether is completely locked up at night, so I’ve not felt security necessarily a concern.

The Oxford Times:

"However, when a shop gets broken into it becomes an issue.”

Graham MacDonald, ice cream maker at family-run business, iScream, said he was planning to get a CCTV camera fitted soon.

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He said: “It would be nice to have cameras everywhere in the market as you see them everywhere nowadays. They’re inexpensive so we need to press the council because it will benefit everyone.

“When we have had break-ins it’s very damaging. Enough is enough and I’d hate for an incident to happen here because it creates a massive inconvenience.”

The Oxford Times:

The manager of jewellery and bags business, Nothing, who has asked not to be named, said: “There are definitely concerns about security and not enough has been done to prevent break-ins. There have been a few in the last few years and it’s very unfortunate.

“It’s being looked into by the market manager and council, but I guess it all comes down to money.”

The Oxford Mail asked Oxford City Council what security measures it had in place at the market, including how many CCTV cameras it had there.

It did not say how many cameras it had, but a spokesperson said: "We take security at the Covered Market incredibly seriously.

"We are working closely with Thames Valley Police to identify and prosecute those responsible for this break-in."