Shelf business owners speak out after spate of vandalism in the village

Shelf shops, Wade house Road.
Shelf shops, Wade house Road.

Business owners in Shelf have spoken of their frustration as vandalism continues to blight the village.

Several shops have been the victim of anti-social behaviour in recent weeks, with break-ins or attempted break-ins at Gee Gee’s fish and chip shop, Shelf Village Bakery and Grogan and Rogers hair salon, all on Halifax Road.

Battered sprouts at Gee Gees Fish and Chip Shop, Wade House Road, Shelf

Battered sprouts at Gee Gees Fish and Chip Shop, Wade House Road, Shelf

Denman’s restaurant in Shelf was struck twice by vandals between February and April last year, with their front and internal glass doors smashed, leaving an estimated repair bill of £2,500.

George Iasonides, who owns Gee Gee’s, said: “The girl that works here is saving up for a trip to Bali and she had a charity tub on the counter.

“She needs to raise £2,500, but they took this tub, plus a can of coke and some Haribos.

“But it’s also the £200 it’s cost me and forcing me to come in on my day off.

Todmorden ward Councillor Susan Press (Labour)

Todmorden ward Councillor Susan Press (Labour)

“I actually pity the people that do it, that they have to stoop so low as to steal a money box.

“It’s the third time it’s happened in the last two years.

“I know it’s happened to other shops too, but it’s also people’s houses.

“Shelf isn’t the worst place to live but it has deteriorated in the last few years.

“There is a notable difference in the area.

“I feel sorry for the police. Even if they do catch them, what are they going to do? We’re not going to get the money or the time back.”

Jane Robertshaw, who has owned Shelf Village Bakery for four years, said: “We’ve not had anything happen for the best part of a year since we were hit three times in a row when we were broken into twice and had our windows broken.

“They didn’t get in this time but they broke three windows, which will cost at least £500 to repair.

“We’re only a small business trying to make a living. It’s quite upsetting really.”

Jane says she fears it will happen again.

“It would be nice if there was some CCTV along the road.

“Everybody along the road has been broken into.”

Nicola Grogan, who has owned hair stylists Grogan and Rogers for two years, said: “They broke in through a padlocked door and smashed the glass.

“The alarm alerted me and I could see them on my mobile on CCTV.

“The police were there within a minute and 45 seconds but they’d already gone.

“They only took a small amount of money but that’s not the point.

“It’s the disruption to your life, the cost of repairs. It’s just so frustrating when you work so hard and put your life and soul into something and then that happens.

“The police were really good, they couldn’t have done any more, but maybe some more CCTV in the area would help and you could see them lurking around.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, Coun Susan Press, said: “Now we’ve been made aware of vandalism and burglary in Shelf, we will work with other agencies in the Calderdale Community Safety Partnership, including West Yorkshire Police, to put plans in place to address the problems that businesses are facing.

“The Council has a number of public space CCTV cameras throughout Calderdale, and we will assess the suitability of this location for coverage. However, the Community Safety Partnership has recently launched a mobile CCTV vehicle and we will look to deploy this in the area as soon as possible.

“Whilst CCTV is a useful tool, there is often no substitute for increased visibility on the streets, so we will work with the police to increase patrols in the area to deter those committing these types of offences.

“We want to reassure residents that the Community Safety Partnership is committed to addressing crime and anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe.”

Sergeant Michelle Cheney, of the Calder Valley’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We are aware of some recent antisocial behaviour in Shelf in the past few weeks, particularly around the Carr House Road area. Our neighbourhood policing officers are working to identify those involved and are continuing to carry out enquiries both locally and across other districts.

“Officers continue to patrol the area to offer reassurance to businesses and residents, and to prevent and disrupt any criminal activity.

“I would encourage anyone affected or anyone who witnesses a crime or any antisocial behaviour to report it to police. This sort of behaviour and these sorts of offences will not be tolerated.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. Crimes can also be reported using the Force’s online 101 chat service.