Youth gang scourge at St Albans fast-food restaurant

GANGS of youths have been intimidating staff and customers at a city centre restaurant and takeaway. Burger King in St Peter s Street, St Albans, is an after-school haunt for groups of unruly teenagers who often bring their own food and monopolise tables

GANGS of youths have been intimidating staff and customers at a city centre restaurant and takeaway.

Burger King in St Peter's Street, St Albans, is an after-school haunt for groups of unruly teenagers who often bring their own food and monopolise tables intended for paying customers.

Police have to be called out regularly to deal with the problem and move them on but they still come back.

Regular customer Ms Marion Gourd, 59, of Sandridge Road, St Albans, is appalled and disgusted by their behaviour.


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She said: "I am unwell and have been treated with such kindness by the staff here. My heart goes out to them the way they are treated by these young thugs. These hardworking people are treated with such disrespect and subjected to racist abuse by these hooligans. Some of the girls are just as bad.

"I have seen fights break out and people frequently leave the restaurant because of their intimidating behaviour. The vandalism has become so bad that the restaurant has had to close its toilets after 6pm."

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Threatened

Ms Gourd said the police had been called on numerous occasions and the restaurant cleared but as soon as the police had gone they were back again.

Burger King manager George Pirillas confirmed that he had been forced to call the police on numerous occasions but no action ever seemed to be taken against any of the gangs.

He said: "My staff have been threatened and customers frequently leave when they see what's going on in here. The furniture has been vandalised and the toilets damaged. We can't seem to get rid of them."

St Albans Neighbourhood Sergeant Jamie Bartlett said: "Neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs regularly patrol businesses in the city centre including Burger King. We are aware of a number of incidents of anti-social behaviour which have been dealt with robustly."

He added that the police also work closely with SABAC (St Albans Business Against Crime) to reduce business and retail crime using walkie-talkies to communicate quickly and efficient.

Concerned members of the public should call city centre neighbourhood officer PC Shaun Wood on 01727 796042.

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