Following an armed raid on the Eclipse betting shop on Edenderry's main street, fear among other business owners is on the rise.
Speaking to the Offaly Express this week, some of them expressed the they feel Gardai in the town should be doing more to prevent this type of crime from occurring as frequently as it has been lately.
In the last number of months, a number of business premises, including Tesco have been hit by raiders, while a number of house burglaries have also been reported across the town and its environs.
Some businesses said this week that they "do not feel safe trading in Edenderry," with one owner saying that he’d relocate his business outside the town if he could afford to do so.
Speaking of the fear among business owners in the town, another business owner stated, “you come down here some mornings and you're always wondering, will it be robbed?”
There have long been calls in Edenderry for a full-time garda station, but gardaí have recently set up a new crime taskforce following serious burglaries across the county. They have been responsible for arrests in the last few months, and just two days after the Eclipse betting shop raid, gardaí had apprehended and charged the two suspected perpetrators.
Addressing the fears of businesses in Edenderry, Laois/Offaly Crime Prevention Officer, Sgt. Graham Kavanagh, commented to the Offaly Express: "I would acknowledge that every business struggles to keep their doors open and don't need the fear of being burgled, people shop lifting from them or individuals walking in and committing robbery."
"An Garda Siochana will always work with business owners, either as a result of being a victim of such crimes, or proactively through their Chamber or a Business Watch scheme, to provide crime prevention advice to reduce the risk," he added.
"Businesses and An Garda Siochana traditionally have excellent working relationships and I would encourage business owners to engage with their local Garda and sergeants to allay any concerns. The services of the crime prevention officer is always a valuable resource to assist business and the retail security guide provides valuable advice."
In relation to the Eclipse betting robbery, Graham welcomed news that Edenderry gardai had arrested and charged two local males in relation to the incident.
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