A social club manager hit by a spate of burglaries says he does not know how to thank the people of Bermondsey after they rallied together to pay for a better alarm system.
Michael Hannon, who runs St Peter and the Guardian Angels Social Club, in Paradise Street, was left devastated after the club was burgled four times in the space of less than a year.
The club, which has been run voluntarily by Michael for thirteen years and was run by his parents before him, was most recently ransacked by thieves just days before Christmas.
But now, thanks to the generous people of Bermondsey who have helped raise almost £1,000, the club will have a high-tech alarm system installed, which should help ward off any further burglaries.
Speaking to the News, 57-year-old Michael said he had been left “touched” by people’s generosity.
“We’ve also had some cash donations [as well as online donations] so we’re almost at the target already and we’ve arranged for the alarm to be installed this week,” he said on Monday (Jan 9).
“People who come into the club or got married in the church have donated.
“We got one donation from Ireland from a lady who used to work at the youth club upstairs in the ‘70s, which was really touching.
“I just want to say how grateful we are to everyone who’s contributed; some people have just come up to me in the street and handed me a tenner.
“It’s very touching; I don’t really know how to thank these people.”
The News reported the first break in at the club in April 2016, when money raised for the British Lung Foundation was taken just hours after a fundraising party.
Michael says that, since the burglaries, every time he is on his way to visit the club he worries about whether someone has broken in again.
“At the moment, every time I go up there I’m worried about whether there’s a door hanging off or a window that’s been smashed,” he said.
“I went round this morning with the same feeling of ‘what am I going to find today?’”.
It is hoped the new alarm will end Michael’s string of bad luck, as it will notify the police whenever someone attempts to break in to the pub.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police told the News that they had concluded their investigation and were not following any other lines of inquiry.
However, Michael says the police are being as helpful as they can and he is grateful to TF Security for helping the club.
“Those people are coming in with hoodies on and gloves so the CCTV doesn’t worry them,” said Michael.
“I can’t blame the police; they are being as helpful as they can.”
In a statement to the News, a police spokesman said: “Police were called at 12.19pm on Tuesday, December 20, to reports of the burglary and theft of alcohol at a social club on Paradise Street, SE16.
“It is believed that the suspect(s) gained entry to the building by breaking a rear window between 7pm on Sunday, December 18, and 12pm on Tuesday, December 20.
“Officers from Southwark attended the scene and all lines of inquiry have been investigated. At this time the investigation is closed. If any further information comes to light, this will be investigated. Anyone with information is asked to contact Southwark Police via 101.
“There were no arrests.”