A FRUSTRATED businessman has hit out at Bradford Council once again after his café was decimated by yobs for the 15th time.

Aris Mehmood, who runs Smorgasbord Coffee Bar in Rawson Place, revealed damage at the premises from this latest break-in runs into the thousands of pounds territory.

The café was broken into at around 4.50am on Sunday, November 29.

CCTV footage seen by the T&A shows the shocking moment a hooded individual hoists what looks to be a beer keg in the air and throws it at the glass café door.

The individual persists and also begins using the keg as a battering ram, before getting into the premises.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said two males - aged 23 and 25 - have been arrested in connection with the break-in.

Mr Mehmood has a long list of items that have been damaged or taken - such as the building's sound system - which has left his business on its feet.

The front door was completely smashed and has had to be temporarily boarded up.

The businessman reveals that will cost around £2,500 to replace, while the till could set him back between £1,500 and £2,000 - not to mention the loss incurred from not being able to trade properly.

Mr Mehmood said: "What they've done, on the bar they've just got the computer and it's all damaged.

"They've took the printer for our orders, they've thrown everything on the floor, the Uber printer, they've yanked the wiring out, the downstairs office door locks.

"They took my laptop, which has got everything on there - we can't function without that.

"They've broke the door to the meeting room.

"This is some of the stuff I remember that they've done."

It is the second time this year his café has been broken into and the 15th instance since opening back in 2007.

Mr Mehmood said: "There's a lot of damage this time.

"There's two things I want to report, the state of crime in the city centre and secondly, and most importantly, the planning department.

"I've pleaded with them for the last two years.

"It's a persistent problem that's happening."

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said the City NPT has worked "tirelessly" to reduce shop burglaries, with offences down by 20 per cent on last year and reductions year-on-year since 2017.

Mr Mehmood has continued to urge Bradford Council to call time on its conservation shutter ruling, which prevents him from installing external roller shutters, as his business is situated in a Grade II listed building.

A Bradford Council spokesperson, said: “We understand damage to shop windows is upsetting for businesses.

“Like most cities across the UK, Bradford has a policy of strongly discouraging external solid roller shutters on city centre shop frontages.

“This is especially the case on listed buildings and in conservation areas.

“This policy was developed with the support of West Yorkshire Police.

“Roller shutters create poor lighting and their appearance can discourage people visiting areas at night and in turn actually encourage anti-social behaviour."

Internal shutters are usually permitted, but Mr Mehmood described this alternative as "futile" back in 2018, explaining yobs can still destroy the exterior of a shop.

The Bradford Council spokesperson said: "Internal shutters, laminated or strengthened glass, robust alarm systems and keeping valuables out of sight are known to be effective security measures and don't require planning permission.

“The Smörgasbord café is a listed building and within a conservation area.

“It’s highly unlikely any local authority would allow external solid roller shutters within these contexts.

“Smörgasbord café has been liaising with our heritage teams to discuss Townscape Heritage Scheme funding.

“The cafe had a Stage One application approved that will improve security to the rear of the property which has been targeted in the past.

“Our planning and conservation officers, along with the police, are happy to work with the owner to help them improve their security in ways that don’t negatively impact the high street or these key city centre buildings.”

But Mr Mehmood describes it as a hypocrisy, outlining that other buildings in the area have external shutters.

He said: "When people are walking past, they see shutters all around.

"Why would they not give me the shutters?

"They talk about the aesthetics - what aesthetics?

"I've told them this before.

"They have to do something - we need to put a stop to this."

The current coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the devastating impact this continuous plight of crime is having on Mr Mehmood's business.

He said: "We're really down on our trade - 20 to 25 per cent of our normal trade.

"We're not even covering costs.

"Yesterday (Sunday), trade went down, today, we've managed to do something because I've got hold of another printer.

"It's a mental trauma too, I'm going through a mental trauma.

"My staff, many of them are female workers, they feel scared and unsafe with it happening on a regular basis.

"I feel really let down by Bradford planners."

Mr Mehmood thanked two young police officers who came to support him on the Sunday.

Police enquiries are still ongoing into the break-in.