AN INTRUDER leapt over a wall and attempted to smash their way into a hairdressing salon.

Staff arrived to work at The Point in Trafalgar Street, Brighton, last Saturday morning to find the back door shattered after a botched break in.

It is the latest in a string of incidents in the road and shop owners said “enough is enough”.

Ian Habben, who runs the salon, said: “We came in at 8.30 on Saturday to find someone had smashed the back door. It looks like they tried to prise it open pretty crudely.

“This has happened before. Last time we spent nearly £200 repairing the door and we put a fence up in the hope it would protect us from more break-ins.

“But they managed to jump over the wall again this time. Now, we’ve had to spend more than £500 on repairs.

“Businesses on this street are under enough pressure as it is. This extra expense and hassle is the last thing any of us want. But it’s been getting a lot worse.”

Trafalgar Street has been targeted in recent months.

Three weeks ago, shopkeepers told of their terror after the Red Fish Art and Coffee Shop was burgled and an assistant at The Dressing Room clothes shop was “held prisoner” by a menacing man.

In January, a gang of teenagers barged into Pretty Vacant clothes shop and went on a rampage, threatening staff, hiding under tables and causing havoc in the changing rooms.

Earlier that month, thieves “ransacked” The Laine Deli as they broke in with a crowbar and tried to crack open its safe.

In December, Burglars broke into Neoma Design fashion shop and stole thousands of pounds’ worth of handbags. Shopkeepers have been raising concerns about crime in the street for months.

Liv Mulhern runs the Trafalgar Street Traders’ Group, which supports local businesses. Her e-cigarette shop was broken into last year during a spate of break-ins.

Speaking after The Laine Deli break-in, she said traders had been left feeling “like sitting ducks”.

Now, she feels the area has reached a “tipping point”.

She said: “Enough is enough. It just seems completely wild now, and we shouldn’t have to accept this as the new normal.

“We’re doing as much as we can ourselves. Many of us have managed to get our own CCTV and alarm systems. But who wants to live in a Brighton where every shop has to have a grille to protect it? “We’ve got to have some action from the police.

“They could get the CCTV camera working on the street but the most important thing is a much more visible police presence.”

A police spokeswoman said: “We have increased our visibility in the Trafalgar Street area and regularly link in with local businesses.

“We ask communities to continue working with police to limit the opportunities for break-ins to commercial and residential premises. Operation Magpie targets burglars and regular campaigns aim to keep people informed on how to protect properties.

“We take every crime reported to us seriously and thoroughly investigate all viable lines of enquiry. We’d like to reassure members of the community we are determined to bring offenders to justice.