Manjit's Kitchen: Leeds Kirkgate Market traders tell of 'worry' over security after Indian restaurant burgled
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West Yorkshire Police confirmed the break-in at Manjit’s Kitchen, in Kirkgate Market off George Street, overnight (December 5).
Burglars smashed into the back of the premises and stole cash from the till, the force said in a statement.
Leeds Kirkgate Market trader Barry Ibrahim, who works at Jenny's Jerk Chicken, said: “I am very sorry for what happened to them. That’s not what I wish for any [business]. Today they didn’t open, that’s a loss for them.”
Jenny’s Jerk Chicken is located two stalls down from Manjit’s Kitchen and Barry said he fears they could be next.
He said: “It is a bit worrying though, because that means we are not safe. They started with the first shop, we don’t know what’s going to happen to the second and we are the third.”
Barry said he recalled an attempted break-in at Jenny’s Jerk Chicken and said the stall now has CCTV cameras in operation.
And while he thinks this is a good safety measure, Barry thinks that Leeds City Council, who owns and operates the market, could do more to boost safety.
James Stock, founder of Fat Annie’s, which is also located in Kirkgate Market, hopes for the same.
He said he knows of a couple of other incidents of this nature that have happened in the market recently - and even one “earlier this week”.
James said: “It’s quite devastating to small businesses and even with insurance, you are still missing days of trade and you need to get your equipment fixed and things like that, so really hoping it doesn’t happen to us because we really can’t afford that to happen.
“We are not overly concerned because we are inside. I think the ones on the outside, because they have doors, are a bit more vulnerable. If they do get inside, we have shutters, but they can still break those down. It seems to be a pattern that’s formed at the moment.”
He added: “Hopefully [Leeds City Council] will be responding to what is happening and making some changes. Obviously whoever it is, feels like there is a vulnerability in the market.”
Police have urged any witnesses who saw anything suspicious from 6pm December 5 to around 8.48am this morning to come forward.
People can contact police on 101, quoting crime reference 13230673554, or online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/livechat.
The Yorkshire Evening Post has approached the council, which manages the market, for comment.