BUSINESSES have been left counting the cost after senseless vandals smashed shop windows.

Louts hurled bricks at two town centre properties in what traders fear could be a copycat incident of the violence in London and other major cities.

Specsavers and Chiq Hair & Photography Studio on Church Street, Flint, were targeted on Tuesday night.

Dave Ledward, owner of Chiq Hair & Photography Studio, was unable to open to customers yesterday.

“This has been happening up and down the country,” he said.

“I think someone thought they were going to be big and clever. They are stopping people who are trying to make an honest living from trading.

“It costs us money because our insurance premiums will be going up.”

Mr Ledward, who has been trading in Flint since 2006, said he was hoping to be trading as normal today.

Specsavers staff member Trish Coppack said: “The police were here when I came to open up this morning.

“We have two front windows and one has shattered. We are open but we’ve had to keep one of our doors shut for safety reasons.

“What can you say? It’s just a shame.”

Flint Castle Cllr Ian Roberts hit out at the vandals.

“If this is as a result of what is happening elsewhere then some people need to question their motives very strongly,” he said.

“There is absolutely no excuse for what is going on in the rest of country and the same applies to Flint.”

Cllr Roberts said vandalism had not been a significant problem in Flint since the installation of the town’s CCTV system.

“I have every confidence in the police and look forward to the day when these people are brought to justice,” he said.

Flint mayor Cllr David Cox said the people who caused the damage were “yobs”.

Delyn MP David Hanson said he had spoken to the police about the incident.

“These are mindless acts and distressing to the business concerned. I am confident the police will do all they can to both look into these events and prevent future vandalism. These are thankfully isolated incidents in North Wales.”

Flintshire Council confirmed its CCTV monitoring system was operational in Flint.

A spokesman for North Wales Police said: “We can confirm we did received a report of two windows being damaged in Church Street, Flint.

“Enquiries are underway and CCTV footage is being studied as part of the investigation.”