Harassed traders ‘got breathalysers from the police’
SHOPKEEPERS breathalysing customers say they bought equipment from the police – because they were so fed up with serving alcohol to drunks.
Two Spar stores in Cardiff are breathalysing customers who come into the shop in an effort to combat street drinking.
Rohat Hamed, 40, who has been a shop manager for eight years, told how the breathalyser has helped curb the problem.
She said: “We’ve used it hundreds of times already – we just grab it and if anybody who tries to buy alcohol looks drunk we tell them to blow into it. Some people have given us abuse when we use it because they must think that they’re above the law.”
The breathalysers were given to shopkeepers for a trial – and they were then allowed to buy them from the South Wales force.
She said: “We ended up buying it from the police for £200 because we have got a lot of problems here when people are buying alcohol from elsewhere and congregating around this area.”
She insists that her store is not to blame for any drunken troublemakers in the streets.
She added: “We’re getting blamed when it’s got nothing to do with us.
“We’re actually doing the police’s job – it’s not our job, we never serve anybody in here who’s drunk.
“Some people buy cases of alcohol from other shops then sit outside our shop – but it’s not us who’s sold them that alcohol.
“The set of benches right outside because it’s a good chill-out area, but we don’t serve them. We’ve banned a lot of them.
“People don’t like them sitting there and it does affect the tourists – Cardiff is a booming city at the moment and there are always people visiting.”
Divisional Commander for Cardiff Chief Superintendent Belinda Davies said: “Such behaviour can prove intimidating, unpleasant and unwelcoming to those visiting or working in the area.”
Operation Purple Ash aims to help vulnerable people on the street while taking action against troublemakers.
South Wales Police have said that 40 alcoholic drinks have been seized and 18 people have been arrested since the operation began just under two weeks ago.