A FAMILY business has called for more police patrols after their shop shutter was damaged in the latest headache caused by yobs.

A young female staff member was closing up the shop at about 6pm on Saturday when a youth stuck his bike under the shutter and subjected her to verbal abuse.

The member of staff, who was on her own at the time of the incident, is the 17-year-old daughter of 21st Entertainment owner, Rachel Jones.

The girl had to phone her mother and her mother’s partner, Darren Ayrey, as the shutter would not close the whole way and the store would be left unsecured unless it was fixed.

Mr Ayrey said: “A few years ago the police put up cameras because it was that bad and it did clear but now they are back again so we’re back to square one.

“Sometimes we have to go home early because of the youths, we are losing business and it’s just intimidating.

“We get customers who won’t walk past our shop because of them – they leave rubbish all over the ground, even though there’s a bin right there.”

Mr Ayrey believes that the damage has been caused by a group of about 20 teenagers, often seen loitering in front of Badman’s takeaway next door.

The kids, mostly boys, are usually spotted on bikes and “smoking weed” according to Mr Ayrey.

He also claims that the same set of kids have caused anti-social behaviour in the past, including throwing eggs at the shop and targetting houses across the area.

The couple have worked on the party hire store since they took over the premises in Springfield Road, Kearsley, in September, and have seen neighbouring businesses Jenna’s Nails and AK News also encountering problems with the gang of children. The damage has cost the pair £240 to fix, and they are looking at having CCTV installed to prevent future issues.

The store opened to the public on Saturday, October 5, but the Facebook page for the business revealed that the pair had considered closing because of the cost of preventing further damage.

A comment from Mr Ayrey described himself as “fuming and gutted” about the incident, saying the couple “can’t afford this expense and the hassle” from those responsible.

The shop is open from 9.30-2pm Monday-Friday and 9-6pm on Saturdays, and stocks a variety of cards, balloons, and personalised gifts.