A Preston hairdresser says he is leaving the city centre after 33 years as he no longer feels it is safe for independent businesses.Advertisement
David Thomas has been in Guildhall Street since the 1980s but is moving to a new salon in Penwortham next week.
In recent weeks he has had the windows of his city centre salon smashed on two separate occasions.
In a video posted on Facebook, he says: “I can no longer justify putting my team and my clients in danger.
“This city has become out of control. For the second time in a matter of weeks we have had vandalism again and the windows put through.
“A community really that cares, but a council that doesn’t.
“We pay our money to the BID, we pay our rates to the council, the streets are unpoliced. It’s not safe.”
Read more: Crime news from Blog Preston
A Preston City Council spokesperson said: “It is disappointing to hear a long standing Preston business owner is relocating out of the city centre, but we wish Mr Thomas every success at his new location.
“We are committed to and passionate about the long-term success of Preston city centre and work closely with the Business Improvement District to support the high street.
“Shopping local and supporting local businesses is something that everyone can do to help, and we would encourage all Prestonians to do that too.”
A BID spokesman said: “The reduction and detection of crime is primarily a police function, supported by the city council in terms of public safety.
Sgt Emma Walker from Preston Police said: “We are aware of some of the concerns raised and are working closely with the Business Improvement District (BID) to further understand the issues being faced by market traders as well as the hotspot areas, key times and repeat offenders so we can target those involved.
“We are also working with our colleagues at the council to look at CCTV and have stepped up patrols in and around the market.
“I would encourage any businesses experiencing anti-social behaviour/ crime to speak to us and raise their concerns.”
Do you think the city centre is a safe place for independent businesses? Tell us what you think in the comments section.