Students’ survey confirms Reepham cash machine theft affected local traders

A survey by four Reepham High School students has confirmed fears that town centre businesses have suffered since a cash machine was stolen in a smash and grab raid last month.

The students' interviews dovetailed with the work on the geography of crime they had just finished in their geography lessons.

The team, made up of Rosanna Brocklesby, 13, Olivia Hickling, 14, Alastair Hughes 14 and Evelyn Hull 14, asked 10 businesses whether sales had changed since the May 16 theft, how they had been affected personally, whether they expected such a crime in the town and how the impact compared to their initial expectations.

Six of the businesses said sales had been hit to some extent, and many said the temporary loss of the HSBC ATM in the Market Place has caused them inconvenience.

The team said: 'We volunteered to interview the traders of Reepham because we care about the local community and would like to give these businesses a chance to voice their opinions over the recent awful events.'

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Reepham Chamber of Commerce is trying to spread the message that the town is open for business, and an alternative ATM is available in the Spar in Ollands Road.

Although the HSBC building will remain closed for a number of weeks, staff have started to offer limited non-cash services in the Bircham Centre from 10am to noon on Mondays and 11am to 1pm on Wednesdays.

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