A security guard has told how he was punched in the face by a ‘Zombie’ drug user while protecting a city centre business.
The King Edward Street worker says he is now so concerned about the rise in problems linked to the drug Spice that he has banned his family from visiting the city centre, which he has labelled “out of control”.
In recent weeks, traders and shoppers have voiced their concerns, with the authorities responding with increased ‘multi-agency’ patrols and plenty of strong rhetoric.
But speaking on condition of anonymity, the security guard says efforts to curb the spiralling problem appears to be having little effect.
He said: “My grandkids are aged five to 10. It’s so bad I have stopped them from coming down into town. I don’t want them having to see what I see. It’s not pretty.”
The guard, who gave a pseudonym of Richard, told of a recent attack.
“The person was under the influence of Spice and alcohol,” said Richard. “He was witnessed attacking someone in the street. He was stopped by myself and another security officer.
“He punched me to the face, breaking a tooth and causing injuries to my jaw and elbow.”
Richard’s attacker was arrested. He did not take time off.
“I couldn’t leave the business without security,” said Richard.
A few weeks ago, Richard was also threatened with being stabbed.
“I witnessed a drug deal in King Edward Street,” he said. “I reported it to the police via the (council) CCTV operators.
“A female was subsequently arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs. When she was being led away by police, her boyfriend walked past me and said, ‘I am going to f****** stab you up.’
“I have also seen, in the past six weeks, a couple injecting drugs in a doorway next to Santander, and a male masturbating, again in a doorway.”
Richard, who is in his 40s, says security guards are now locked into an endless game of cat and mouse with drug-users.
“They are always going into store and grabbing things off the shelves,” he said. “They will run off. We are told not to run after them, for health and safety reasons. We will just ring it through to the CCTV operators and the police.”
Richard says he has never before witnessed such behaviour on the streets of Hull.
“I’ve worked in Spring Bank and Beverley Road,” he said. “But nothing I saw there compares with what I am now having to deal with in the city centre. It’s out of control.
“The city centre has become an extremely dangerous place.”
Richard claims trade is being hard as a result of the rise in antisocial behaviour.
“A lot of retails stores are losing custom,” he said. “Something needs to be done.”
Chief Constable Lee Freeman tweeted on Monday that there will be an increased police presence in the city centre.
He wrote: “Considering our approach to managing the homelessness/begging/ASB issues in Hull centre. Lots of partnership work ongoing to address underlying mental health and addiction causes. In the meantime you will see increased police presence and enforcement activity in the city centre.”
Source – hull daily mail