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Hotelier calls for more CCTV after vandals smash window during New Year’s Eve party

PUBLISHED: 15:55 02 January 2019

The Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford had a window smashed in New Years Eve attack. Picture: Gez Chetal

The Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford had a window smashed in New Years Eve attack. Picture: Gez Chetal

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A hotelier has called for increased CCTV in a town centre road after a window was smashed by vandals on New Year’s Eve.

The Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford had a window smashed in New Years Eve attack. Picture: Gez ChetalThe Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford had a window smashed in New Years Eve attack. Picture: Gez Chetal

Gez Chetal, who runs the Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford, called for improvements in the CCTV coverage on the London Road end of Whitehart Street.

Mr Chetal described the moment his window was smashed midway through the hotel’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

He said: “There were two or three people with hoodies trying to kick in the windows where our toilets are which look out onto the main road and one of my customers highlighted what they were trying to do.

“The next minute my wife grabbed me and rushed me into one of our rooms and by the time we got round there they were all gone and our window was smashed.

The Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford had a window smashed in New Years Eve attack. Picture: Gez ChetalThe Thomas Paine Hotel in Thetford had a window smashed in New Years Eve attack. Picture: Gez Chetal

“There are sofas there and someone could have been sitting on them. The glass all came down and it could have really hurt someone.”

The cost of the damage to the window of the grade two-listed building is not yet known, but could run into the thousands.

He said: “I’ve been here for five or six years and if I wasn’t here the building would be boarded up and closed.

“Because it is a grade two-listed window and the whole window will have to be done and it could be more than a couple of thousand pounds.

“Jealousy will get you nowhere. You wouldn’t catch me or my children doing those sorts of things and I think it is up to their upbringing really.”

Mr Chetal said the level of activity, including a fellow businessman having his window smashed before, shows the need for better CCTV.

He said: “The CCTV on the road stops down at the Bell Hotel and while I have got CCTV, I don’t cover every angle of my hotel.

“I have said loads of times that we need CCTV at the top of that road.”

A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: “A front window of a hotel on Whitehart Street, Thetford was smashed after someone threw something at it causing it to smash between 11.45pm and midnight on New Year’s Eve.

“A group of people was seen in the area at the time but it is not known if they were involved.

“If anyone has any information or witnessed the incident, please get in touch with Norfolk Police on 101 quoting crime reference number 36/134/19, or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

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