Shops advised to switch off wi-fi to stop teen gangs gathering at Celtic Point

Celtic Point in Worksop.
Celtic Point in Worksop.

A row of businesses in Gateford have been advised to switch off their wi-fi to stop youths gathering outside and intimidating shoppers.

Police chiefs have asked shop owners at Celtic Point to turn off their wireless internet connections after teens were said to be causing anti-social behaviour.

A Public Space Protection Order is now in place which prohibits youths under the age of 16 from congregating, boozing or harassing people at the location.

Shopkeepers this week told the Guardian that the order has been successful so far.

A manager at Domino’s said: “We have been advised to turn ours off.”

“Ours is turned on between 10am and 5pm now.”

“To be honest I don’t know why we had it anyway.”

“We had a ridiculous amount of problems, they would just stand in the doorway and if you told them to move on they would swear and abuse you.”

“It was a bit worrying for your car, kids were practically sat on my bonnet.”

“Sometimes there could be as many as 20 or 30 outside.”

“The police have been very supportive.”

Businesses said that alcohol was not involved and there was no suggestion that any serious incidents of violence occurred.

However Bassetlaw District Council said that they had received ‘numerous’ complaints relating to gangs of youths ‘intimidating, harassing and being verbally abusive’ dating back to September last year.

A spokesman at the Asda store said: “I don’t think people have noticed that we have turned our wi-fi off.”

“The order has brought disturbances down a bit.”

“They are all mostly well-behaved now to be fair.”

“We did have one or two incidents.”

“We have always worked closely with the police community support officers.”

A breach of the order is a criminal offence and following a conviction, magistrates would have the power to order an offender to pay a fine of £1,000.

Workers at the Star Fish and Chips said that it has been ‘intimidating’ for customers, particularly the elderly.

One staff member said: “I think their parents have spoken to them, we have been fine for a few weeks now.”

Worksop neighbouring inspector, Neil Bellamy, said: “The problem had been compounded a little bit by free wi-fi up there but we have done some work with the local retailers to reduce that issue.”

“Kids have been attracted there from all over town because they talk to each other at school.”