City centre shop to close in face of drug-dealing and drunks

By Alisha Griffiths

Drug-dealing and drunkenness have been blamed as two of the reasons for a city centre shop closing its doors for good.

And other shopkeepers agree that anti-social behaviour is affecting trade near Fitzalan Square.

Antics Model shop has been open for 14 years, and is due to close next Wednesday.

Paul Clover, 56, who has worked in the shop for the past 12 years thinks that one of the main reasons the business has suffered was due to disorderly behaviour in the square.

He said: “Officially the closure is because the lease is running out and trade has dropped as well. However there are strange people in the square and a lot of people drinking and dealing drugs.”

According to Mr Clover, some days from 9am groups hang around in the square drinking, and this puts people off going into the shop.

A shopper, Alistair Lofthouse, 49, of Greystones Close also commented on the closure.

He said: “Sheffield centre is so awkward to get to. It’s a lot easier at Meadowhall. You don’t get harassed by people on the streets.”

A video police van was sent to the square this morning to monitor the area but this has been the only action the police have taken to stop any anti-social behaviour, according to traders.

In March of this year four crimes were reported in Fitzalan Square, two of those being anti-social behavior crimes and two robberies.

Sam Ali, 25, another shopkeeper at GT News on Fitzalan Square, said there was a lot of trouble in the area.

He said: “The police haven’t done much. It’s only just started now with the police cameras.

“It affects some customers. Some people have to walk all the way around and instead of coming here they go to different shops.”

South Yorkshire Police were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

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