Mossley shopkeeper considers closing after anti-social abuse from teenagers

A MOSSLEY shopkeeper subject ed to abuse and racist taunts from teenagers has considered quitting the town.

Ali Irshad, who has run A-S Convenience on Stamford Street for almost three years, claims his life has been made a misery.He told the Correspondent there have been times the abuse suffered has been so bad that he had considered selling his business.

Ali had earlier attended a meeting of Mossley Town Council as he sought help and support from councillors.

He detailed his issues claiming the situation is sometimes so bad he has to shut his store in the evening.

Ali said: “Their behaviour is aggressive as they come in asking me to sell them booze and cigarettes.

“They make trouble, say racist words and try to intimidate and provoke me at night when it is dark and cameras (CCTV) do not see their faces.”

Ali added the area around his store, which is directly opposite the George Lawton Hall, is a magnet for youths to gather at night.

He explained how the problem has increased over the last 12 months: “In my first two years it was alright when the kids were younger and aged 12-13. Now they are 13, 14, 15 they are too much trouble.

“They are getting horrible with anti-social behaviour and being aggressive.”

Ali added he has reported some incidents to police using the 101 telephone line.

“There have been times when I have given up after 45 minutes when nobody has answered my call,” he said.

Ali added police have issued warnings and the trouble ceases temporarily before resurfacing. He added more patrols are needed at night when the problem is at its height.

Town councillor Maggie Thomas told the meeting she had emailed Jonathan Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, and he was taking up the case.

Councillor Frank Travis, chair of Mossley Town Council, expressed concern about anti-social behaviour in the town which he described as “totally unacceptable”.

He urged Ali and any other shopkeepers plagued by anti-social behaviour to keep a log of incidents which can be presented to police.

Town councillor Stephen Homer added he had reported incidents of anti-social behaviour near the Co-op to police.

He was also concerned about what Ali had endured.

“It is a hate crime if you are racially abused,” he said.

PC Martin Dench, who is in charge of policing in Mossley, said previous issues had been dealt with in partnership with Jigsaw Homes including the issuing of a harassment notice against one youngster.

He added police had provided considerable support to Ali at that time but was unaware of any recent problems.

“If there is a problem, Ali needs to tell us and make us aware of what is happening. We are only around the corner,” said PC Dench.

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