There could soon be vigilantes taking the law into their own hands in Melton unless police get to grips with the spiralling level of crime, a town businessman has warned.
Len Manchester Motorcycles owner Neil Young made the claim after a man was smashed in the face with a solid steel ratchet tool there as he tried to stop burglars making off with a motorbike early this morning (Friday).
The intruder had already made off with one bike from the Burton Street premises and returned to take another when Phil Stafford, who has set up a gym at the rear of the premises, intervened to try to stop them.
Mr Young had been alerted about the initial break-in, which happened around 5.15am, and after calling police he set off with wife Jane to see if they could find the burglars.
They returned to the business 15 minutes later and he said: “There was a bike on its side and we found Phil covered in blood.
“He had been whacked around the face and they had left the bike and ran off.”
Mr Young said it took 47 minutes for police to arrive on the scene, because he was told officers had to be called in from Leicester.
He said: “If the police had arrived much quicker, Phil would not have been attacked.
“I can’t believe there were no police available in Melton – it’s getting beyond a joke.
“A lot of people have had enough now. There are going to be vigilantes going around Melton trying to get their property back if we can’t rely on the police anymore.”
Mr Stafford was taken by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to Queen’s Medical Centre, in Nottingham, where he had stitches in a face wound.
The machine which is missing – a black AJS Cadwell with a registration AJ66 FOH and worth £2,500 – was being worked on for a customer in his 80s, who is understood to be very upset to lose it.
The burglars also caused more than £2,000 damage to the showroom and garage when they forced entry.
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: “Police were called shortly after 6am this morning (Friday 25 August) by a man reporting a motorbike stolen in a burglary at premises in Burton Street, Melton.
“The burglary was believed to have taken place at 5.10am.
“At 6.17am a member of the public called police reporting that he’d been assaulted by a man after hearing what he thought was a disturbance inside premises at the address in Burton Street.
“Emergency services attended and a man was taken to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre for treatment. His injuries are described as minor.
“Enquiries are continuing to find out the exact circumstances surrounding both reports.”
Police would like to speak to anyone who was in the area of Burton Street at around these times and saw or heard anything suspicious.
Call 101 if you can help and quote incident 89 of August 25.