‘Street drinkers intimidate Doncaster shoppers’ claim

Picture: PA Wire
Picture: PA Wire

Angry Doncaster market traders are demanding action after what they claim is a rise in the number of street drinkers near the site.

Officials from Doncaster Market Traders Federation say they have seen more people drinking alcohol and shouting near their stalls since the start of spring.

They are calling for a hard line from police and Doncaster Council to move drinkers on who they fear put customers off coming to the area.

Federation committee member Nigel Berry said: “I think the sun has come out and it has brought out the street drinkers. We are getting more of them walking round.

“You can see that some of the older customers are intimidated by them. Some of them are going round asking people for money and it is not good for us.

“People are scared when they start shouting. I think there needs to be more of a police presence in the town.

“This is something that has been raised in the past at meetings with the police and they clamped down on it for a while.”

Mick Maye, the Market Traders Federation chairman, said security staff were employed to patrol the markets in some parts of the country.

He said: “I would like to see something like that.

“In the past, police have brought in legal orders which banned the sale of single cans of beer as part of a plan to deal with the problem. The scheme was launched with a blaze of publicity.”

Dave Wilkinson, assistant director of trading and support services, said: “Like every town centre we do experience some anti-social behaviour issues. However, we have made real progress in tackling the problem with a wide range of measures.

“We have significantly strengthened the way we work with South Yorkshire Police and other partners. The entire town centre, including the markets area, is patrolled throughout the week by police and council officers.

“We have recently invested around a million pounds in improvements to the outdoor market making it a brighter and more open space. While there is still monitoring work to be done to crack down on anti-social behaviour, the hard work that ourselves and partners are undertaking is having a real impact in reducing problems at the markets.

“Of course, everyone can help us tackle anti-social behaviour and we encourage traders and members of the public to report problems by the police calling 101.”