Twelve armed robberies have been carried out at business premises in the Bogside within the last six months, a local councillor has said.
Sinn Féin councillor Colly Kelly was speaking after the latest incident at a shop in Blucher Street on Sunday when two men, one armed with a knife and the other with a hammer robbed the shop.
They threatened the female shop assistant before demanding money. They then fled with a sum of cash. The shop assistant was not injured but was badly shaken.
Colr Kelly said: “It’s very alarming that in the last six months there have been no less than twelve robberies of shops, bookmakers and fast food outlets in the general area.
“During these robberies staff have been threatened with weapons such as suspected firearms, sledgehammers, batons.
“The latest robbery and attempted robbery have been in been in two businesses just yards apart in Blucher Street.
“Any robbery is an extremely traumatic event for the victims. These robberies happen very quickly and it’s very hard for the owners of these businesses to provide round the clock security.
“Many small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open, providing both services for the local community and much needed employment.
“I would appeal to anyone with any information about these latest incidents or others in the area over recent months to bring it forward to the police straight away,” he said.
The PSNI have said those involved in Sunday night’s robbery are described as being around 6ft tall and thin build. One was wearing light grey coloured tracksuit bottoms, a light grey coloured hoodie top and a black balaclava.
“The other was wearing dark bottoms, a dark blue coloured hoodie top, and a black and white coloured football scarf.”