ANGRY business owners are demanding police do more to prevent violence after a number of attacks in the town centre.

Incidents on Trinity Street and Bridge Street, in Halstead, in the past week have left one shopkeeper needing hospital treatment and a glass shop front smashed.

And shop owners say they fear things will escalate unless more is done to combat crime.

At the Premier Express shop in Trinity Street on Tuesday evening, a shopkeeper was left needing a hospital check-up after being punched in the face by a man.

It came after the same man visited the store nearly two weeks before and made a lunge for the till before being pushed away by the shopkeeper.

On that occasion, he threatened the shop keeper on duty with a glass bottle before making off with a case of beer.

Nallarasan Kannan, the shop owner, said: "The police know who they are but it will just keep happening until they take some proper action against them.

"At the moment we feel helpless because it doesn't seem like there is anything to stop them from coming back."

The Premier shop is just three doors down from the Piccadilly newsagents which thieves stole hundreds of pounds from in June.

And Clare Truman, the owner of Buzy Beanz Bistro, is facing a bill of around £500 after her shop window was smashed by yobs in the early hours of Saturday.

She said: "There was a flat party across the road it seems there was an argument which led to one guy throwing a dustbin at my window several times.

"It's not fair that we have to pay that and from speaking to other business owners it's a regular thing - there's always something happening on Friday and Saturday nights."