Market hall security upped after yobs’ rampage

Market traders with Janet Ryding, centre, who have reported abuse and criminal damage
Market traders with Janet Ryding, centre, who have reported abuse and criminal damage

Security at Wigan market hall will be increased after yobs caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to traders’ stock.

Wigan Council has said it has “listened to stallholders’ concerns” following an incident last month and has allocated more security staff to cover the busy summer period.

The acts of a small minority of vandals is deeply upsetting for the stallholders at Wigan Market who are trying to run their own businesses

Karl Battersby

Staff at Wigan Sofa Centre were disgusted to find that a group of teens had vandalised a trade stand just minutes after employees left.

Outraged, they contacted police but were told that the crime was not a “policing priority” and that the investigation would not be taken any further.

A letter addressed to Janet Ryding, who works at the furniture store, said: “We are pro-actively looking to provide protection against child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, hate crime, high-risk missing from homes, serious sexual offences, critical anti-social behaviour, vulnerability protection, mental health incidents and significantly impactive crimes on victims such as burglary dwelling.

“This crime would appear to require disproportionate resources to conclude and impacts on ability to investigate other priority crime.”

Janet said many traders feel they are “not safe” at work.

“The abuse is constant,” she said. “The costings of retail are hard enough to manage without this. It’s becoming a nightmare.”

James Morely, another market worker, added: “Kids are unchecked, little to no security and what security there is can only do so much. ”

After numerous complaints, the council has said that any extra security will be asked to tighten up safety in the hall.

Karl Battersby, director for economy and environment, said: “The acts of a small minority of vandals is deeply upsetting for the stallholders at Wigan Market who are trying to run their own business and supporting our local economy.

“Wigan Market works in partnership with The Galleries to provide on-site security and during key times throughout the year such as summer holidays and Christmas additional security is brought in as additional support.

“We are always listening to our stallholders and the extra security has been tasked to cover areas of concern they have raised with us as part of this pre-arranged additional cover.”