Great Dunmow mayor fears increase in violent crime after Co-op robbery in Flitch Green

Flitch Green. Picture: MNE

Flitch Green. Picture: MNE - Credit: Archant

The mayor of Great Dunmow says she is concerned about a potential increase in violent crime, after Co-op staff in Flitch Green were threatened in a robbery last week.

The incident took place at the store in Hallett Road at about 10.55pm on July 5, and saw two men steal a four-figure sum of cash.

One climbed over the counter and demanded money from three staff members, while the other pushed one of the victims and threatened him with a hammer.

The news comes after a series of Co-op attacks in the area, including spates of shoplifting and an attack on a staff member at the Great Dunmow store and a ram-raid at a branch in Great Bardfield last September.

“I think it’s awful,” Councillor Danielle Frost said.

“Flitch Green has been having a few issues recently, but I don’t think it’s alone.

“I think it’s a case of criminals targeting isolated businesses and there is not a big town centre there. Having said that, we had had two bank robberies and the bookies robbed in the past five years, so I’m not sure that protects businesses.”

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She added: “There is a feeling, from my point of view, that violent crime seems to be on the increase. I’m not sure that it actually is, but I think people are trying their luck.”

Mrs Frost also said that the store might have been targeted because it is new, but that it is unlikely crime can be solved permanently.

“With all the will in the world, you can have policeman up and down the High Street and that might stop it, but crime has been going on forever and you can’t really stop it but just do your best to minimise it,” she said.

“Where there is a will, people will often be opportunist about it.”

She added: “I feel for the people. It must have been a frightening incident.

“I think they did the right thing. Nothing is worth your life or harm to your person. I’m glad nobody was hurt.”

The men are described as white, about five foot and eight inches tall and had their faces covered.

One wore a grey tracksuit, the other a black one, and both had baseball caps on and hooded tops.

Detectives say thee men might have fled in a vehicle.

Anyone with information or CCTV should contact Braintree CID on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.