Shop owner driven out by yobs
AN OWNER of a kebab shop today told how he was driven out from a troubled Ipswich estate by teen yobs.The news comes on the day bosses admitted they also closed a convenience store on the same parade of shops because of persistent problems with anti-social behaviour.
AN OWNER of a kebab shop today told how he was driven out from a troubled Ipswich estate by teen yobs.
The news comes on the day bosses admitted they also closed a convenience store on the same parade of shops because of persistent problems with anti-social behaviour.
Trouble flared for Kebab shop owner Bilal Gilgil in Queen's Way on July 23 when police were called to a disagreement at the arcade.
Two people were arrested at the scene and a further three people were arrested in the following weekend.
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Since then police have been called to the parade of shops several times.
Mr Gilgil has now sold B.B.Q King after he claiming children had been targeting his shop.
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Last month he said he was scared to go to sleep because of the problems with the store.
Today he said: "I was left with no option but to leave. The children who lived on the estate smashed my windows and badly affected my business until I had to move out."
Yusuf Erdak, owner of Pizza Chema next door has bought the kebab shop and feels the deal might ease current problems.
He said: "Youths have always been a problem in the area but it is how you deal with them that matters.
"We are a family-run business and if we have problems with the youngsters we will talk to their parents first before taking other action.
"We feel that perhaps the problems will die down now that the youngsters know we have taken it over."
Mr Gilgil's departure comes after Costcutter supermarket finally gave up and closed the doors in October last year.
Ian Hamer, retail operations manager for Costcutter, today said the shop shut because it was targeted by hooligans on a regular basis.
He said: "There were constant thefts and vandalism to the store and staff endured intimidation and harassment by the youths who lived nearby.
"The problems went on for several months and it got to the point where we were finding it difficult to hire or keep staff."
Mr Hamer said the company made the decision to shut the shop when it became too costly to constantly repair broken windows or replace stolen stock.
He added: "It is unfortunate the actions of a few people affect the whole community but the company just got fed up with it. If people cannot respect the service we provide for them, we will simply stop providing it."
A spokeswoman for the Ipswich and Norwich Co-op, the remaining convenience store in Queens Way, said: "We will do all we can to co-operate with the authorities and other traders in the shopping parade to support our staff. Hopefully together we can bring about an early improvement to the recent difficulties in the area."
N If you have been affected by the problems like the ones at Queen's Way then write in with your experiences to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org