A market trader in Wigan has spoken on her “extreme frustration” after vandals tore through her store ruining large volumes of stock.
Janet Rydings, who works at Wigan Sofa Centre at the town centre market, left work at around 4pm on Monday, July 24 but just 15 minutes later a gang of teens turned the furniture store upside down, tearing upholstery and throwing sofas across the hall.
Angry traders are outraged at the attack, which is part of “continual abuse” suffered by market hall staff who say they are “intimidated” during working hours by increasing numbers of gangs in the centre.
“We are plagued by gangs of youths,” said Janet. “They come in and jump on the beds and the furniture. The abuse we take on inside the market is ridiculous, and it’s on a daily basis now. It’s shocking.”
The Wigan Sofa Centre began life outside the market, where they experienced no problems with vandals.
But due to rising costs the owners moved to the market hall in December last year.
Janet said that the problems with unruly yobs have occurred ever since.
“It’s becoming a nightmare,” she added. “We are not safe when we go to work. They come in gangs and they are intimidating.”
Frustration turned to anger for Janet when she reported the incident to the police, but was told that the investigation will not be taken any further.
She has also appealed to the council for additional security measures so that staff feel safe to go about their day-to-day trading.
Police say they unable to investigate the disturbance.
Karl Battersby, director for economy and environment at Wigan Council, said: “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.”