The manager of an ice cream and dessert shop in Collier Row has said staff members are “scared to work” due to ongoing issues with anti-social behaviour (ASB).

Rikesh Patel, who works at Scooperb, told the Recorder its outlet in Collier Row Road has been targeted by a group of “nuisance” teens for more than six months.

The eatery opened in October last year, and serves eggless, vegetarian and vegan desserts that are said to be “inspired by the beautiful and aromatic spices of south Asia”.

Rikesh told the Recorder that on Wednesday, May 22, a group of 13-14 year olds came to the shop at around 6pm and were asked to leave as they were believed to be previously involved in ASB activities.

But he claims they refused to go and a staff member was hit.

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“They punched the window and we called the police. The officers came and spoke to them, but they are like 'we can’t do anything as they are kids'.

“I told them they are assaulting our staff, but there’s just no response or action from police."

Rikesh also alleged that the children punched an old lady outside their shop last December and have previously threatened to bring their big brothers to “beat everyone up and damage the shop”.  

“Every time the police come and say they are carrying out investigations, but literally nothing happens."

Hassled by the incident on May 22, Rikesh said they had to close the outlet early that day which resulted in a loss of revenue.

He explained staff are "scared to work", adding: “We are struggling as is with everything being so expensive. Who is going to pay for my loss of sales?"

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: "Police were called at 6.15pm on Wednesday, May 22 to reports of anti-social behaviour by children at a commercial premises on Collier Row Road, Romford.

"The children had left the scene prior to police arrival. No criminal allegations were made.

"A report of anti-social behaviour has been submitted to the local Neighbourhood Policing team.

"The owners of the premises have been contacted and CCTV footage has been recovered.

"One boy has been identified and his parents will be spoken to.

"Enquiries are ongoing to identify the remaining young people involved."

The spokesperson confirmed that police have been made aware of other reports of anti-social behaviour but said that there is not a "huge issue" with ASB in the area.