Siva Kandiah became the unwitting face of the London riots in 2011 after his store was ripped apart by looters as he helplessly watched his life’s work taken from him.
But the spirit of his local community shone through, and he received £20,000 in donations via the Help Siva Appeal, allowing him to re-launch his business. He finished the year with the NFRN Award for Community Retailer of the Year.
However, that isn’t where it ends. The newsagent took a series of tragic blows over the Christmas and New Year period, when his Hackney store was robbed SEVEN times in ONE month. The police even provided a panic alarm and a direct emergency walkie-talkie in a vain attempt to protect them.
Kandhasamy Thyagarajan works at Clarence Convenience store and describes his trauma. “I was beaten, they would cover their faces so you could just see their eyes.”
“I was so scared after it happened. When we would close the shop and I had to go to the door, my heart would beat so fast,” he told Retail Express.
A group of TEN teenagers suspected of committing the robberies, as well as a string of other offences, were finally arrested this week. The police described the teenagers as a “network of 15- to 17 year-olds”.
Siva’s news comes as the impact of retailer crime was being laid bare to MPs by the NFRN at an informal evidence session held by the House of Commons Justice committee.
“Business crime is often seen as victimless, however, this is not the case. Psychological harm as well as physical harm must be taken into account as it is important that victims get the support they need,” said chief executive Paul Baxter.
Have you suffered at the hands of criminals in your local area? Has it left you or your staff scared to carry out their jobs? Call us 020 7689 3371