Birmingham cafe owner criticises 'waste of time' police

image captionDamascena coffee house will close an hour earlier from January

A cafe director has said calling the police is a "waste of time" because they "can't be bothered to come out" to solve crimes.

Staff at Damascena coffee house in Birmingham have been threatened by a man with a knife and had tips stolen.

Director Zein Al-Abdeen said the cafe was only 200 yards away from West Midlands Police's headquarters, making it "even more frustrating".

The force said it was dedicated to protecting businesses.

Mr Al-Abdeen said on one occasion a man with a knife had broken into the staff area of the cafe and stolen money.

"The police came a day later and never collected the CCTV footage," he added.

"Then a few months ago they told me if I was really concerned I should hire security.

"It's so frustrating because the police headquarters are only down the road and if they can't be bothered to come out to us when a crime is happening, what hope do others have?"

media captionWest Midlands Police chief 'sorry' about poor service

In the most recent attack, tips were stolen after four people entered the cafe and made threats to staff.

It was reported to police but staff have chosen not to call them as they now feel it is a "waste of time", Mr Al-Abdeen added.

Another incident saw one staff member threatened to have their "head broken" after being confronted by a man who was asked to leave.

The coffee shop is currently open until 21:00 but Mr Al-Abdeen has now decided to close an hour earlier each night from January.

He said: "Staff don't feel safe. We're finding it difficult to cover evening shifts because they don't want to be here later than 7pm."

West Midlands Police said it was dedicated to protecting businesses in the city centre and urged people to report crime.

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