About 5 minutes after writing and posting yesterdays entry my neighbour came into my shop looking looking visibly shaken. Turns out that she’d had a visit from the guy who used to own our other neighbours and who is friends with the one that has just bought the shop the other side of her. Basically he went in and tried to intimidate her into selling to him - not a nice thing to do to a woman on her own. He wasn’t physically threatening to her in the sense he told her he'd do something to her, but he was definitely playing mind games with her head so much so that she looked absolutely terrified. This then got me thinking that maybe I wasn’t wrong in my assumptions about what kind of people they are. Maybe I wasn't wrong to assume the damage done to my sign was to to with them after all!!
It got me thinking about how maybe they are hoping to scare her into selling to them and me into leaving so they can then approach my landlord and get him to sell my shop to them as well, that way they would own all 4 in the parade. On the advice of my driver who came in as she was talking to me about it she phoned our local councillor - I wasn't sure about that being such a good idea, after all what could he do? Again, turns out I was wrong. He has done quite a bit. Firstly he's sorting out with the planning office to note what has happened and is going to make sure any change of use (which is what they would want to do) is blocked. He said that because my neighbour has been intimidated (I thought I was being a drama queen when I said that's what I thought was happening so when he said it was intimidation I felt like maybe I wasn't quite such a fool after all). He said that if she was to then sell to him (or anyone associated with him) it would have been noted so change of use would be stopped (didn't know they had such powers). He then suggested we phone the police, to which we both laughed.
My dealings with the police have honestly never been what I would call "positive". They talk the talk but only seem to walk the walk these days if they can make some money out of it. Back when I was a child I had the utmost respect for our 'bobbies on the beat'. These days, sadly, the small amount I did have disappeared when they left me stranded on the motorway after my big accident after treating me like the criminal and letting the uninsured driver who hit me carry on his way - apparently there's a lot of red tape and paperwork in prosecuting a foreign lorry driver (let be a warning to you should you ever be hit by one).
It got taken out of our hands though and before we knew what was happening the bizzies had put in an appearance. I thought they'd accuse us of wasting their time so was quite surprised when they agreed she had been intimidated and they thought that my damage wasn't just a "coincidence". For the next hour they told me how to protect myself in the event that someone comes in to threaten me, asked me what measures I had in place should such a thing happened and I don't mind admitting by the time they'd finished I had a total head mash. I now have to report anything that appears to be something it's not (it's a good job I'm not the paranoid type) and our camera's have been connected to 3 different wifi's also in case someone was to cut a phone line (this is what we were told was the best thing to do) and I have camera's all over the place. It's a good job I have nothing to hide!!! :)
Still, after all that has happened I managed to get myself unlimited internet at the shop - result!!