Shop vandalism: Yobs cautioned, owner to foot bill

Health food shop owner Paul Webber
Health food shop owner Paul Webber

A shop owner has been left with a bill for almost £800 while the vandals who broke his window have been let off with a caution.

Paul Webber, who owns the Health Food Shop in Silver Street, Wellingborough, has been told by police he will have to pursue a civil case through the courts to get the perpetrators to pay for their crime.

Despite initially being told by officers they had caught the culprits red-handed and that they had offered to pay for the damage they caused during the early hours of Sunday, March 3, Mr Webber has since learned they have been given a caution and the police can’t force them to pay.

Mr Webber said: “They said they don’t want a criminal record and it would affect their career prospects.

“They are not worried about businesses. Small businesses can’t afford this at the moment.”

He added: “The police said they had the people who did it, they’d admitted they’d caused the damage and they were going to pay for it.

“I also had a card through the letterbox to say the same thing. Now the police have decided not to press charges.

“They say the police decision maker has to consider various aspects, including the severity of the case.

“So they have been let off with a caution and the police have told us to take them through the court to get the money, even though the police said the people who did it would pay.”

Now Mr Webber has been left with a bill totalling almost £800 for temporary boarding and a new window.

Faced with the potential of an increased premium and forking out for the excess, he says claiming through his insurance is not an option.

Northamptonshire Police have said they are working with Mr Webber to provide information to support a civil case.