Retailers seek cameras in Villawood

BUSINESSES in Villawood shopping village are calling on the council to increase security of the area after a fatal armed robbery at a store two months ago.

I-Home Shop 'n' Save owner Olivia Cheong said ever since a young man was fatally shot while working at Villawood Value Fruit Market on October 12, sales in her shop had plummeted by 30 per cent.

"I think for a while everyone felt shocked. The mood was really sombre and everyone was feeling flat," she said.

"A lot of customers steered clear after the shooting, it was very overwhelming."

Ms Cheong said she wanted to see monitored security cameras to deter crime in the area.

"I think we definitely need more CCTV cameras and more police patrols, as well as beautifying the place so that we can attract more people to the area," she said.

Owner of Arabesque Groceries Faten Dablan agreed.

She said her shop had only been open for three months before the shooting .

"We're lucky if we make enough money to pay rent and restock," she said.

"The shooting scared the people so they will only come back when things are settled."

Kim To, who owns Woodville Bakery, next door to Villawood Value Fruit Market, said he was also feeling the pinch, with sales in his shop also dropping by 30 per cent.

"We've been robbed twice in the past two years and last year, there were three occasions where I turned up to work to find my shop windows smashed," he said.

All shop owners believe that introducing small markets and open days on the weekends will help bring more people back to the village.

Cr Ken Yeung raised the request at the most recent Fairfield Council meeting.

He told the council that shopkeepers were also finding it difficult to lease their shops following the shooting.

"Shop owners have told me that thieves walk on the other side of the shops because there are no CCTV cameras there," he said. '

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