Teenagers' threats in shop

CROWDS of unruly teenagers terrorised staff and customers at an Ipswich shop, which was forced to close early when the fracas continued for two hours.Police are today investigating the incident at the Co-op store, at the Rosehill shopping centre in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich which saw extra security guards and police officers trying to stop youngsters push their way into the shop.

CROWDS of unruly teenagers terrorised staff and customers at an Ipswich shop, which was forced to close early when the fracas continued for two hours.

Police are today investigating the incident at the Co-op store, at the Rosehill shopping centre in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich which saw extra security guards and police officers trying to stop youngsters push their way into the shop.

Bill Knowles from Ipswich & Norwich Co-operative Society said the crowd took staff at the 'fairly new and peaceful' store completely by surprise.

He said: "We haven't had a lot of trouble there before, so we were somewhat taken by surprise when a whole crowd of youngsters seemed to come together on Thursday night.


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"They made a nuisance of themselves, which caused considerable concern to our staff and anuisance to customers.

"It was all pretty trivial stuff by a couple of dozen unruly kids, but the number of youngsters was overwhelming, and it went on and on.

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"We had one security guard on duty and we called in three extra guards. They were telling the youngsters to 'go away', and saying 'you're not welcome in the store' but they just lingered, pushing and shoving, trying to get in the store.

"It went on for two hours, and the sheer number and length of time meant it became a considerable concern. We closed the store an hour earlier than we normally do, and even then the problem continued.

"We did have the police up there, and they did attempt to reason with these youngsters, but unfortunately the youngsters concerned were not inclined to listen to reason. They lacked all respect for people who they should have respected, the police and the shop staff.

"I have heard different estimates as to how many were involved, but I would say about two or three dozen.

"I can't say who is to blame, but the next day the shop next door found plants had been broken and ripped up.

"We are reviewing what happened and looking at cctv footage with the police and the town's anti social behaviour network manager Andy Solomon. We are looking at our security arrangements to see what we can do."

N What do you think of his incident? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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