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Booze yobs put shop future in doubt

PUBLISHED: 07:53 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:26 12 July 2010

Terri Winkley in her Diss shop.

Terri Winkley in her Diss shop.

Late-night boozing has been blamed for a spate of vandalism at Diss that has left one shopkeeper wondering whether to call it a day.

Terri Winkley is facing an estimated £400-£500 repair bill after a beer glass was hurled through a plate glass window at The Fabric Shop by a “mindless yob” on the way home from a pub.

Late-night boozing has been blamed for a spate of vandalism at Diss that has left one shopkeeper wondering whether to call it a day.

Terri Winkley is facing an estimated £400-£500 repair bill after a beer glass was hurled through a plate glass window at The Fabric Shop by a “mindless yob” on the way home from a pub.

It is the second time her premises in St Nicholas Street have been targeted, and she was not insured as the premiums are so high.

“You make very little profit with the trade in Diss as it is, and then you have to put that towards repairs. It gets to the point where you think 'I am working for nothing - I might as well get another job',” she said.

“It upsets me because I have worked hard to build up a customer base, and I love working in Diss. But to me, at the end of the day, in business it boils down to pounds. If there's no profit you have to call it a day.”

The vandalism happened overnight on Friday and the beer glass, which surprisingly survived intact, was collected on Tuesday by the police.

Mrs Winkley is hoping the fingerprints or DNA of the “mindless yob” responsible will already be logged on the police data base.

“It's somebody walking down from the pub who emptied his glass, stopped, then threw it through the window,” said Mrs Winkley, who added her two other shops in Sheffield have only suffered one crime in the last 20 years.

There are fears that Diss shopping centre is in decline, with several independent businesses closing in recent weeks.

Local councillor Tony Palmer, chairman of the safer neighbourhood area panel, said he had every sympathy with Mrs Winkley.

“It is of great concern to me when we are working so hard to raise the profile of Diss and trying to bring in more visitors, and I can understand her frustration,” he said.

“I am aware, just recently, there has been a spate of this kind of petty vandalism going on, and it seems to coincide with people leaving pubs.

“It is only a few people that are doing it and I don't think late-night drinking is helping our town.

“Police are thin on the ground and it makes it impossible for them to be on site when they don't know when people are leaving a pub.”

Mr Palmer added that the town and district councils are looking to introduce a bylaw restricting the consumption of alcohol in public places.

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