Air gun attacks on two Nottingham shops on same weekend not believed to be linked

Video: Optician Alexander Allan speaks out about his smashed window.

Two air gun attacks on Nottingham shops on the same weekend are not believed to be linked, say Notts Police.

Alexander Allan’s optician shop, based on Mansfield Road, Sherwood, had its shop window shattered by pellets just under two weeks ago, while a nearby coffee shop was hit with three.

The damage at the opticians is believed to have taken place between 2pm on Saturday, May 6, and 8am on Monday, May 8, while the shots at the coffee shop took place between 11pm on Saturday, May 6, and 6.15am on Sunday, May 7.

Notts Police are investigating both cases which they say were caused by a BB gun or air gun and a spokesman said it cannot be proved that both cases are linked.

Mr Allan, 61, has run the optician shop for 40 years but, while he was away for the weekend, the outside panel of his double-glazed shop window was shattered.

Mr Allan said the damage will cost him between £300 and £400 and he hopes the window will be repaired in the next ten days.

He said: “I was away that weekend but I got back on Sunday morning at seven o’clock to the report that a window had broken.

“I initially thought it was a break-in as we’ve had one recently. But my daughter came to the shop, as I was away, and it was the outside panel of the double-glazing which had been broken. It’s not that bad but it’s an inconvenience and an expense.

“We think it was some kind of BB gun loaded with ball bearings. We cleaned up the glass before we realised it had happened to other people as well.

“We didn’t think to look for any pellets or anything like that.

“We had the local police out the day after because the local cafe owner made a fuss. The local police man came out and took a few details – they can’t do a lot.

“It’s a window, lots of windows get broken every day. They’ve been as helpful as they can be.”

Cafe Cchino was hit by three pellets.

Lal Majitha, 51, runs the nearby Cafe Cchino, which has been trading for two-and-a-half years.

He said: “I was alerted because the optician said his window had smashed. I was in Manchester and arrived in Nottingham at 7pm on Sunday, May 7, and I went to the shop to make sure it was OK.

“I noticed there was a crack on our window and door. Then I noticed our main window, which is very sizeable, had two big cracks. There are three in total.”

Damage to the shop window of Cafe Cchino.

He claims the police did not take the incident at his shop ‘seriously’ and says it was not until after he contacted Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping on the Monday morning, via Twitter, when an officer came to the scene.

Damage to the Cafe Cchino.

Mike Douglas, 49, is the owner of the Sherwood Business Centre and used to be a member of the local neighbourhood watch team.

He said: “There are no police on the streets now. We need to stop the decline in police budgets to stop this happening.

“But Sherwood is a superb place to live – it’s very safe.”

Owner of the Sherwood Business Centre, Mike Douglas.

A Notts Police spokesman, responding to the case at the coffee shop, said the force takes such reports ‘seriously’ and enquiries are ‘ongoing to identify those responsible’.

“We have been in contact with the cafe owner who reported the incident to us on the night of Sunday, May 7, 2017.

“We assess all incidents for threat, risk, harm and vulnerability. A beat manager visited the cafe owner the next day and he has been very supportive of our investigation to bring these offenders to justice.”

Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone with any information about either case should ring 101, quoting incident number 800 of May 7 for the cafe, or incident number 258 of May 7 for the opticians.