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Off-licence keeps every item it sells behind bullet proof glass

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Buried in the heart of a Basildon estate is an off licence where every single thing sits behind bulletproof glass. Despite being a stone's throw of two primary schools, the shop is also slap bang in the centre of what may historically be considered one of the rougher areas in Basildon. The estate of Felmores has become more family friendly in recent years, but the area still makes the news for the wrong reasons. Nearby Northlands Park is a local hotspot for anti-social behaviour, and more recently an assault, while well known Felmores Bail Hostel is also nearby. But a relic of its history of crime can be found in The Felmores Offy.
The Offey in Basildon, Essex, sits behind bullet proof glass (Picture: BPM)

A shop was targeted so frequently by shoplifters that its owner installed bulletproof glass to stop customers getting to any stock.

Instead of walking up to a shelf and picking up essentials, at The Offey in Basildon, Essex, customers must ask a sales assistant to get it for them.

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That’s because the entire shop’s stock sits behind bulletproof glass.

Even the person working at the till is protected by metal bars.

According to Essex Live, the shop has been the same for 20 years after the then-owner installed the glass to prevent against thefts.

It was never removed and has now become a welcome sight for regular shoppers.

Buried in the heart of a Basildon estate is an off licence where every single thing sits behind bulletproof glass. Despite being a stone's throw of two primary schools, the shop is also slap bang in the centre of what may historically be considered one of the rougher areas in Basildon. The estate of Felmores has become more family friendly in recent years, but the area still makes the news for the wrong reasons. Nearby Northlands Park is a local hotspot for anti-social behaviour, and more recently an assault, while well known Felmores Bail Hostel is also nearby. But a relic of its history of crime can be found in The Felmores Offy.
Shop assistants must grab everything for customers then pass the items over at the till (Picture: BPM)

Manager Karen Waldon told the site: ‘There were smash and grabs.

‘They used to just walk in and walk out with whatever they wanted.

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‘In the end [the owner] got fed up with it and decided to put this up to stop it.’

Karen, who has worked at the shop for more than seven years, spends her days walking around the shelves that are glassed off to pick up items that customers request.

She then takes the items over to the till, which is blocked by metal bars, where she can pass them through to shoppers.

New customers often attempt to get through to the main shop area but find themselves stuck behind the reinforced glass door.

She said: ‘It’s hard to explain. People literally will try and open the door. They’ll try and say I want to be where you are.

‘But they’re not allowed to be where I am.’

Buried in the heart of a Basildon estate is an off licence where every single thing sits behind bulletproof glass. Despite being a stone's throw of two primary schools, the shop is also slap bang in the centre of what may historically be considered one of the rougher areas in Basildon. The estate of Felmores has become more family friendly in recent years, but the area still makes the news for the wrong reasons. Nearby Northlands Park is a local hotspot for anti-social behaviour, and more recently an assault, while well known Felmores Bail Hostel is also nearby. But a relic of its history of crime can be found in The Felmores Offy.
The decision was made by a previous owner fed up with shoplifting and has stuck for 20 years (Picture: BPM)
The Basildon shop where everything is behind bulletproof glass General View of The Felmores Offy, Basildon
Staff at The Offey say the glass has helped prevent crime (Picture: Google)

The glass walls may seem extreme, but they have managed to keep The Offy in business with no break ins or thefts in over a decade.

While a newsagent down the road had two burglaries in the space of a week in 2016, Essex Live reports.

Karen said the area is not notoriously dangerous, but the glass helps to make staff feel safer too.

She said: ‘Obviously it’s safer, it makes it safer for us girls in the evenings.

‘Locals know us and how to shop with us. There’s only one like this, we are definitely unique.’

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