A business owner whose café was broken into this week has claimed families are being driven away from Broadmead by the increasing amount of anti-social behaviour.
Carmine Montuori has run the Taste of Napoli restaurant in Broadmead for the past five years and says things are getting worse in the area.
In the latest incident, Carmine’s restaurant on The Horsefair was broken into in the early hours of Monday morning.
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A man smashed his way into the premises at around 3.45am, using a 3kg rock to break the glass in the front door.
The intruder, who was caught on CCTV, took around £300 worth of alcohol from behind the bar before the alarm sounded and he fled.
Bristol BID, which supports businesses in the city centre, has said it is ‘working hard with the police and Bristol City Council to find appropriate solutions’ to the issues.
Carmine and his family had to attend the break-in in the early hours to have the door secured and he says the incident has caused a lot of stress as well as money.
“It makes me very angry because this guy clearly came here only to steal the bottles of alcohol,” said Carmine.
“He carried a heavy rock in a carrier bag to smash the glass in the door and went straight to the back of the bar to get the bottles and put them in his bag. There was nothing else to steal here so he clearly knew that.
“We can’t see his face on the CCTV because it was a night camera but he was a big guy in his 20s or 30s and he was wearing a hat.
“It makes me sad and angry to think that somebody would damage our restaurant just for a few bottles.”
Taste of Napoli’s window was smashed with a brick in the early hours of Monday morning
(Image: Bristol Live)
Carmine says an increasing number of his customers only visit Broadmead to go to his restaurant because they no longer feel safe in the area.
“Coming to Broadmead is not very nice these days, especially for families with children, and that’s sad because this is the face of the city centre.
“It has got worse in the five years I have been here. There are more people sleeping rough and more people begging outside the café.“
‘We need to protect Broadmead’
Carmine has called for more to be done to clean up the area and make it safer.
“We need to protect Broadmead even more now because things are bad anyway after Brexit and the pandemic. Many places have closed including Debenhams so it’s not a good situation.
A brick was used to smash the window
(Image: Bristol Live)
“The council and the police need to move to protect the city centre. Nice families don’t want to come to Broadmead because of the people they see around.
“There are more empty units and more empty doorways for people to sleep rough and nobody is doing anything about it. We need to act fast or we will lose the city centre, it’s very sad.”
A spokesperson for Broadmead BID said: “As more people have been returning to the city centre, supporting our shops and cafes, we know there have been some challenges experienced by those businesses and we’re working hard with the police and Bristol City Council to find appropriate solutions.”
Anyone with information about the break-in should call police on 101.
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