A business owner has called for a greater police presence to stop youths harassing traders.

North Yorkshire Police had previously urged residents in Bedale to contact them after concerns that people were instead putting complaints on social media.

But retailer Keith Mungham, who has run Nickery Nook card and gift shop for many years, said he has contacted the police after youths repeatedly climbed onto part of his roof, but it has still been happening.

He says in another incident a female business-owner had been terrified in her own premises after youths harassed her.

This week is Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Week, with North Yorkshire Police and Scarborough Council highlighting work to address issues that affect communities.

Mr Mungham said more needs to be done in this area. He added: “The last occasion there were five or six teenagers on the roof – I could see them on the CCTV system.

“I couldn’t get through on (police non-emergency number) 101, they were reported on the online system. I went to see the police in Northallerton in the summer but there has been no real action. The police are asking people to report concerns to them but nothing gets done.

“One staff member who told the youngsters off was photographed and harassed. Youths have been caught and they go through the youth justice system but it all takes a long time and sometimes parents don’t help. It’s frustrating for the police.

“My concern is the kids could fall off the roof, it is not about breaking into the shop there are heavy steel doors, it is about them getting hurt.

“I am a supporter of the police but we need a greater police presence in the town centre. It really seems to be a growing problem, and the concern is they are not managing to stop it.”

He said Hambleton Council could also help by putting anti climb paint on posts at the side of the building.

A police spokesperson said: “The local Neighbourhood Policing Team regularly conduct foot patrols through Bedale and Aiskew and have run several targeted operations in the town, with assistance from officers in other areas.

“Planned anti-social behaviour operations will continue throughout the summer as part of our efforts to tackle the issues affecting local businesses. We continue to ask all businesses to report any incidents of crime or anti-social behaviour as soon as possible and this will help any subsequent investigations.

“The investigations into the incidents reported by Mr Mungham are currently under investigation, while we conduct further enquiries.”

  • In a separate incident, police have appealed for information after a fire was started deliberately in the town’s play park.

The town council said the incident is being treated as arson and part of the asphalt play area near the swings had been damaged.

CCTV footage is being checked and police are asking anyone with information to call 101 if they saw anything suspicious between 7.30am and 8.30am on Thursday, July 14, using reference NYP 140720220135.