CIVIC chiefs have vowed to protect businesses after a ram-raid at a Romsey shop.

Test Valley Borough Council have confirmed they are looking into ways to protect businesses across the town centre.

This comes after ram-raiders smashed their way into the Premier store in Viney Avenue last week.

As previously reported, owner, Siddharth Patel, was left counting the costs after thugs crashed a car into the front of the shop before fleeing empty-handed thanks to the intervention of neighbours.

Following the incident, the 45-year-old shop owner said bollards should be installed outside small shops in the town and action should be taken to support small businesses which cannot afford private security guards.

Now councillor Nick Adams-King, deputy council leader at Test Valley Borough Council, said: “The piece of land immediately in front of the store is still owned by the borough council and we are looking into ways in which we can help. I can’t promise it will be bollards because if you put bollards on a pavement you still need to make sure there is enough space for pedestrians. Our officers are looking into ways in which they can help.”

This comes after police officers and private security guards were deployed across the town centre in December to deter shoplifters.

Other stores such as the Co-op in Winchester Hill were also broken into over the past few weeks.

Mr Patel said more police officers patrolling the street would also help prevent crimes.

He said the community could also help, and praised neighbours Dudley McKenner and his wife Clare Smith-May who shouted at the ram-raiders and phoned the police.