No cause for fear at centre

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POLICE moved quickly after a group of youths gathered in Doncaster’s biggest shopping centre.

A worried shopper in the Frenchgate Centre alerted officers to the situation on Wednesday afternoon - but South Yorkshire Police have emphasised it was not a potential riot.

The gang of teenagers had congregated at 4.30pm but were quickly moved on by town centre patrol officers.

Meanwhile, Frenchgate Centre management bosses say everything is normal and the fear of riots in Doncaster is “not an issue”.

A spokesman for the centre said: “We often have bored kids hanging around in the school holidays.

“Because there were a few youths near the Interchange we asked for them to be moved on. This was not classed as anything alarming.

“All the shops in the Frenchgate Centre are operating normally and there have been no reports of anything untoward. Most of the traders see the riots elsewhere as a non-issue here.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed: “Young people who were hanging around the Frenchgate Centre in Doncaster were dispersed following quick action by officers.

“It was a report from a member of the public about a group of young people in the centre at approximately 4.30pm. Officers attended and moved the group on, but there was nothing out of the ordinary and no link to any riots.”

The shopping mall has always been a magnet for young people in their leisure hours but even before the riots in other parts of England the uniformed security staff have never allowed groups to congregate within the centre.

Meanwhile, Doncaster prisons have capacity to take convicted rioters if jails in the South cannot cope with the high numbers being prosecuted.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said there were no plans to send them to South Yorkshire at the moment but there was capacity in the system if it was needed.

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