A PADIHAM town centre shop manager has called for more police on the beat after a customer went into her store brandishing a knife.
And Miss Nancy Kimble, who runs Bargain Booze in Burnley Road, has slammed police for offering packets of crisps to brawlers fighting in the street!
She said: “Is that the answer? To give treats to people who are behaving like this and breaking the law?’’
Speaking about the knife incident, Miss Kimble said a man came into the store and repeatedly asked her to ring 999 before warning her he had a knife.
Describing this incident, which happened in broad daylight, just before 2 p.m., Miss Kimble saids: “The man is known to us here in the shop and he came in and just kept saying ring 999. I just kept asking him why and he eventually told me had a knife so I rang the police immediately.@
Officers arrived on the scene and had to use a Taser on the man to get the knife off him before he was arrested.
Miss Kimble added: “I didn’t feel scared as I knew who he was but it could have been a different story if he had threatened a member of my staff or come into the shop an hour or so later when we get a lot of schoolchildren in.”
The incident is just part of a problem Padiham is facing with an increase in violent incidents and drug-related issues, according to Miss Kimble who told the Express she has seen drug dealers operating in broad daylight outside her shop.
She said: “I have seen them and also customers coming into the shop have witnessed drugs being dealt. The situation seems to have got a lot worse in the last five months with trouble erupting on the street and fights breaking out on a regular basis and a lot of it appears to be related to drugs issues.”
During one street fight last year Miss Kimble feared her shop windows would be smashed as brawlers were throwing each other again the panes. She called the police and officers arrived on the scene and moved the brawlers on after handing out packets of crisps to them!
Miss Kimble said: “All they did was move on up the street and carry on fighting.”
Padiham’s Neighbourhood Policing Sgt Duncan Arthrur said officers were dealing with offenders in a “robust” manner to tackle the problems in Padiham but he did point out street brawls may not be necessarily drug related.
Sgt Arthur said: “We have our neighbourhood policing team and also the immediate response team based in Burnley to tackle these issues.
“A man from Padiham has just been sent to prison for two years for drug dealing and two more defendants who supplied heroin on the streets of Burnley have also been sent to custody.”
Sgt Arthur said he could not comment on the incidents where crisps were handed out to brawlers as he was not working in the area at the time.