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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Acklam Road shops plagued by teenage anti-social behaviour

Store holders and the public in the Acklam Road area of Middlesbrough are being plagued by yobbish anti-social behaviour from gangs of teens.

Arshad Mahmood, 40, owner of Acklam International Food Store open, for just eight months explained: “We are all getting fed up with the situation which seems to get worse from late afternoon onwards.

“Youngsters start to congregate mainly at the back of the shops, and they’ll be smoking or drinking and making a noise. They do however, ride bikes up and down sometimes getting in the way of passers-by.

“There’s a big field at the back as well which complicates things.

“But the worst thing is seeing them climbing up onto a roof and jump from the third floor to the second and first. It’s not only dangerous for them, but we worry about any damage created. The most important thing for us is our cold compressor which is vital to our store – if anything happens to that we’d be in big trouble.

“It’s getting to the point where people are becoming frightened to walk past the shops, and of course this will also affect the business owners. One shop-owner here has called the police more than 100 times, but they just don’t seem to do anything about it.

“All we want to do is serve the community without any fuss, but it gets very difficult and is actually quite stressful when you’re faced with such problems.”

Asian Standard has learned in the recent past school marshals would often visit the shops to make sure children didn’t hang about in getting to and from school. This seems to have decreased.

Arshad added: “Something really needs to be done before someone either gets hurt or the situation is allowed to get much worse.”

Shops in Acklam Road Middlesbrough Image: Courtesy of shop owners

There’s a similar problem at the Trimdon Avenue shops where groups of teenagers are causing problems with their electric scooters and even stealing from local shops. The elderly in particular are vulnerable here because of the speed the scooters can reach.

The Mayor of Middlesbrough Andy Preston recently visited the site to chat to shop-owners saying: “Unfortunately, this is another reminder our region needs more money for more coppers so we can deter bad behaviour and hopefully catch more of the perpetrators.”

Middlesbrough Neighbourhoods Sergeant John Sproson from Cleveland Police said: “We are sorry to hear of the concerns raised by residents and business owners in the area.

“Tackling reports of anti-social behaviour is a priority and we would encourage anyone experiencing issues of this nature to report to police on the 101 number (or 999 if an emergency).

“We want to continue to work with the Local Authority, our communities and businesses to make the area a safe place to live, work, shop and visit and we need residents to come forward with information on who is causing issues so we can build on the intelligence we have and take appropriate action.

“In addition to this, we will arrange for extra patrols to take place in the area.

“We would appeal to parents and carers to check where their children are in the evening and what they are doing.”

Shop owners are hoping things will improve in the weeks to come.




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