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Outcry as traders sleep rough in town centre

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By Lisa Barbour
Outcry as traders sleep rough in town centre

COMPLAINTS have been voiced about market traders sleeping rough in Dumfries town centre.

And fellow stallholder John Dowson is displeased by the response he received from police when he notified them that some merchants were sleeping in a van in the High Street this week.
The former council leader says uniformed officers visited the site but took no action as they considered the traders to be taking ‘security measures’.
He said: “Usually they would have a requirement in the licence that security is provided, but the definition of security has always been that a contractor would be brought in to do the security. This is just a stallholder sleeping in his van.
“Imagine if there were a number of market stalls and they all decided to sleep in their vans – our High Street would rapidly become a camp site.”
Mr Dowson now intends to make a formal complaint to Police Scotland in relation to the lack of action.
He added: “I believe that the police should have acted and moved the van on, making it clear that sleeping in vehicles in our High Street is not acceptable.
“The police went to the van and the holder gave them a story they were sleeping there because they were security for the stall, and the police accepted that.
“They’re doing a security company out of a job and they’re doing bed and breakfast and hotel people out of a job if they’re sleeping in a van in the High Street.”
Meanwhile, Nith Ward councillor Jack Groom has also received complaints about the situation.
He said: “I understand that one of the traders has a bed in the back of the vehicle, so where does it end?
“Surely there’s also a hygiene issue here and I will be asking at the licensing board why they are able to do this.
“There are 24-hour toilet facilities in the town, but that would mean leaving their vans, although I do hope they are using these toilet and shower facilities.”
Police Scotland were unable to provide a comment in relation to the complaint.

Dumfries and West, Front, News, Uncategorised

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