'Problems are shifting from New Beetwell Street to Knifesmithgate'


Business owners in part of Chesterfield town centre fear for their livelihoods amid yobbish behaviour.

Stores on Knifesmithgate - including Toy Shop - have reported a rise in the number of individuals begging, fighting and taking drugs and alcohol in the street.

Daniel Colledge, 31, owner of Toy Shop, said: "We're being driven out of business.

"My takings have gone down from £300 to £100 a day - it shouldn't be like this just weeks before Christmas.

"People have told me they don't want to come near my shop because of what's going on outside it.

"Just the other day I found someone overdosed on the street with a needle stuck in their arm.

"We've called police countless times - but the problem seems to be getting worse.

"If things don't improve, I'll have no choice but to sell up and shut down - then there will be another empty shop in Chesterfield town centre.

"Enough is enough."

Mr Colledge said 'problems are shifting from New Beetwell Street to Knifesmithgate'.

On the evening of October 25, police were called to reports of two men fighting on Knifesmithgate.

A 29-year-old man from the Chesterfield area was taken to hospital where he was treated for cut wounds to his face.

Nobody has been arrested but police are continuing to investigate the attack.

As previously reported by the Derbyshire Times, police have been running Operation Barrichello in Chesterfield town centre which has so far led to 19 criminals being jailed, more than 75 arrests and thousands of pounds worth of drugs taken off the streets.

And last month, Chesterfield Borough Council's cabinet approved the introduction of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) which will give police and enforcement officers powers to deal with anti-social behaviour.

Before the PSPOs can take effect, an agreement will need to be drawn up between the police and enforcement officers about the processes needed to enforce the orders.

Speaking at a recent meeting, Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "I am really encouraged at the progress which has already been made to make Chesterfield town centre a place where residents and visitors can come to enjoy.

"There is still much work to do but I can already see and feel a noticeable difference on the streets."