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Police boss’s fears over market security

Section:  Dumfries and West

A MARKET in the centre of Dumfries faced a challenge yesterday — following a ‘fracas’ involving stallholders sleeping on site overnight.

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Dumfries and Galloway Council’s licensing panel yesterday considered an application for an operator’s licence for the continental market which runs on the pedestrian area next to the fountain in the town’s High Street.
But chief constable Phillip Gormley had lodged an official submission pointing to troubles in 2015 and asking that conditions be applied if the licence to Continental Market Ltd is granted.
Mr Gormley said: “About 11.45 pm on July 9 2015 a market stall, trading under Angela Scott’s licence, was left in place and fully stocked overnight within High Street, Dumfries.
“The stall holders were sleeping in a van beside the stall within the pedestrian area.
“At this time a theft occurred from the stall, which resulted in the stall holders pursuing an individual to retrieve the items and thereafter a fracas occurring between them and other individuals which resulted in complaints being made from both parties to police.”
Mr Gormley added: “The incident raised concerns over the security risk in respect of the stall being left stocked and situ overnight and the appropriateness of people sleeping within a vehicle within the pedestrian area.
“Due to this incident it is requested that consideration be given to prohibiting stocked stalls to remain up overnight outwith market hours, in the interests of crime prevention and security.”
Mr Gormley noted that Mohamed Yaich El Khamlichi, of Dundee, was listed as being responsible for the day-to-day management of the market, but that he is also set to serve in the same role for markets in Rutherglen, Carluke and Elgin on the same day.
Stating a point of contact should be clearly identified, Mr Gormley said: “This would mean managing different markets on the same day which are in different parts of the country.”
Yesterday, members of the licensing panel decided to grant the licence but said the organiser must speak to police about appropriate security regarding the number of stalls.

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