Butcher praises community following £3,500 meat theft

A butcher in Riverhead, Kent, has applauded the “brilliant” community for the support they have shown after £3,500-worth of meat was taken just before Christmas. 

Graham Batchelor, owner of Batchelors butchers, fell victim to theft on the evening of 23 December 2015. CCTV footage from a neighbouring shop reportedly saw the crime in action. “They cut a hole in our roof and then climbed in and cut all the locks off the fridges,” Batchelor told Meat Trades Journal. “So it was possibly planned quite a bit.”

Among the goods stolen included 324 kilograms of gammon, 46kg of smoked gammon, and 10 boxes of smoked back bacon, among other items.

When he released what had happened in the early hours of 23 December, Batchelor left a phone message to one of his suppliers, who acted with haste. “He went straight to Smithfield at 3am, picked up some extra supplies and got back to us by 6.30am just to stock us up.”

Despite the disruption and disappointment that this caused the business, Batchelor was still able to provide all Christmas orders to customers thanks to the help of the local community. “Everybody was really pleased that we didn’t let anybody down,” said Batchelor.

“The community have been brilliant. Since then, trade has been really, really good. People have been coming in to try to support us and they feel sorry for us because they think it’s outrageous that people think they can just come and take whatever they want.”

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