Workers describe mayhem of making a living in Sheffield city centre amid fights, drunken behaviour and shoplifting
People who make a living on Sheffield’s busy West Street claim drunks, drug addicts and shoplifters are causing mayhem on a regular basis.
A number of employees described working in a climate of fear both in the daytime and at night because of unruly groups fighting, shouting and generally being aggressive on what is one of the city's most busiest streets.
They spoke out after a man was struck by a tram after earlier being involved in a fight with two others last night.
Police cordoned off the scene of the crash last night and the area was still sealed this afternoon.
Workers from The Avenue Hair and Skin salon – a business that had to close this morning as it was behind the cordon – told how this was the latest in a long line of incidents.
Mollie Jessop, a 22-year-old hair stylist, said: “We have to keep the door locked and have to let customers in because there is so much going on.
“In the afternoon before the tram crash two men were arguing and one of them fell back and knocked our window, we just have to apologise to our customers.
“It is really intimidating.”
Hair stylist Coco Norbury, aged 21, added: “There are people drinking in the day who have shouted abuse at me when I’ve been for things like milk and magazines for the customers, it’s not very nice at all.
“We are open until 8pm and it is scary when you are walking back to the car park at night. We tend to walk together in groups.”
Aleatha Warren, aged 30, who specialises in fat freezing at the salon, described Spice addiction among people who congregate in the city centre as a “big problem” and added that she and her colleagues have previously seen people collapsed.
A 31-year-old shopkeeper, who did not want to be identified, said shoplifters had stolen beer and chocolates from her store within the last few days and they have since had to put up a huge CCTV monitor.
She said: “We have had to ban a couple of people in recent weeks.
“It is very frustrating, especially when you are here to provide food for people like students, visitors and builders who work down the road and this keeps happening.
“It has gotten worse in recent years. I know people who have come back to Sheffield who have been away for a long time and they say it is not the same. The city centre is getting worse.”
Many called for more CCTV to be installed and said extra patrols by police and the council’s city centre ambassadors might help alleviate the problems.
The tram crash happened on West Street, near Fitzwilliam Street and Convent Walk, at 10.20pm last night.
The Star understands three men rushed to the aid of a 39-year-old homeless man left seriously injured.
In a statement, South Yorkshire Police said the man had been involved in an altercation with two other men before the collision.
A Supertram spokesperson said the company is “supporting the police in any way that we can.”
Witnesses should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 and quote the incident 939 of May 22.