Plans to install security roller shutters to protect Wisbech Boots store have won town council backing

Boots the Chemist wants to install security roller shutters at its Horsefair Shopping Centre store in Wisbech.
Boots the Chemist wants to install security roller shutters at its Horsefair Shopping Centre store in Wisbech.

Installation of security roller shutters needed to safeguard “essential supply of medical care” at a Wisbech pharmacy has been backed by the town council.

Boots the Chemist wants to install the blinds at its Horsefair Shopping Centre store and members considered the proposals at their meeting on Monday, agreeing to support the move.

The chemist submitted an application to install the blinds back in August and a design statement accompanying the application to Fenland District Council explained why they are needed.

The report, prepared on behalf of Boots by Ridge and Partners, says the store has “been repeatedly compromised over the years from previous criminal attacks” and goes on to say “the only comprehensive measure left to prevent criminal damage and hence loss of service provision is to fit external roller shutters.”

They add: “In our experience electrically operated shutters to entrance doors are the only security solution that provide a visual deterrent to vandals and intruders, as well as providing a robust physical barrier.”

The report goes on to say the “building is at significant risk and vulnerability to security breaches due to the high value of goods and drugs sold and dispensed respectively in the store. Boots is vulnerable to attack due to the large window and door openings that face directly onto the main thoroughfare.”

It says other measures have been considered, but Ridge argue they do not provide “total protections against vandalism ad criminal attacks”.

Among other solutions considered was laminated glass but the report says this would require significant works to upgrade the existing window frames to the shop front and overall costs “would be prohibitive” because of the size of the window and door openings. It also argues that laminated glass on its own is not a “complete security solution” and would require the addition of internal security grilles.

CCTV cameras, it says doe provide additional protection, but are not a “significant visual deterrent” in the event of a burglary.

Ridge says the roller shutter curtain will not impact on the overall appearance of the building, and will be hidden during daytime hours. It also has open laths that allows the window display and visibility into the shop during the night time.

The report concludes: “Overall, it is believed the external roller shutters will perform a strong physical barrier against intruders and an aesthetically neutral appearance that will allow merchandise to be displayed prominently and safely during the night time.