Comment: Shop owners need community support after assaults and robberies

Photo: Louise Kennerley.
Photo: Louise Kennerley.

Not only are Mandurah businesses struggling with the current economic climate, but, as per our page 1 story this week, they're also suffering abuse from customers and having to clean up the mess after break-ins.

My heart goes out to the retail community after speaking with a handful of workers over the past few months.

It's unbelievable that employees in a butcher shop, restaurant or deli are scared for their safety.

It seems workers are being assaulted on the job on a regular basis, whether that be in an unprovoked attack, like the Murdoch Drive Continental Super Deli incident in November, or when staff attempt to stop a theft from occurring.

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Mandurah Detective Senior Sergeant Trevor Troy spoke out on the issue in March after two supermarket employees were assaulted.

In addition to fearing for their safety while at work, business owners are struggling with the repeated burglaries at their stores, costing a small fortune.

When interviewing a handful of Murdoch Drive shop owners and employees on Monday after a break-in, I could feel their frustration, and sadly, can see no easy solution to the problem.

These costs add up for small businesses and it's no wonder some said they were struggling to stay afloat.

These costs add up for small businesses and it's no wonder some said they were struggling to stay afloat.

The police are doing the best job they can in these incidents, like Mandurah Police Senior Sergeant Darren Hart said, and swiftly charged the offenders in both of the serious assaults mentioned on page 1.

Senior Sergeant Hart said he understands the frustration, but safety was paramount.

"As frustrating as it may be, your safety is worth more than anything that may be stolen and police can investigate using the information provided by witnesses," he said.

As a community, we must support these small businesses and do what we can to help - because right now they're feeling helpless.