A supermarket has banned unaccompanied children after an Arson attack.
Fire crews were called to Morrisons in Stanley Road, Whitefield, after an area of the customer toilets was torched. The blaze broke out on Thursday evening and caused the entire building to be evacuated.
The company has now written to schools in the Whitefield area to inform them of the ban.
The letter says: “It is with regret that as of now, no school children will be allowed in our store unless they are accompanied by a parent/guardian.
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“This is because around 6pm yesterday a fire was caused in the store and caused the store to be evacuated and the fire brigade to come out. The fire caused significant damage to the store. Could you please inform all students, parents, and guardians of Este.”
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said: “At 6.30pm on Thursday (March 3) firefighters were called to reports of a fire in the toilets of a supermarket on Stanley Road, Whitefield.
“Three fire engines from Broughton, Bury, and Whitefield, attended the incident. Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus worked to quickly extinguish the fire and make the scene safe. GMFRS were at the scene for just over an hour.”
In October, police released CCTV pictures of two men they wanted to speak to after an off-duty police officer was attacked outside the same supermarket. That incident happened on Stanley Road at around 7.30pm on Saturday, October 16.
Police said the off-duty officer, who wasn’t wearing a uniform at the time, was outside the shop when he heard a ‘disturbance’ inside. Two men were chased out the supermarket by the store’s security officers following a theft.
The officer started chasing after them on foot, identifying himself as a police officer. He caught up with them and arrested one on suspicion of theft, police said.
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But he was then hit around the head with a weapon and punched several times. The victim was taken to hospital where he was treated for his injuries.
In 2019, the Manchester Evening News reported how staff at the same supermarket said they are terrified of leaving work by themselves after being subjected to daily abuse from a gang of yobs.
It came following a report of a group of teenagers ‘punching and kicking’ staff at Morrisons after being thrown out of the store.
Employees took to social media revealing it was only the latest in a string of incidents involving the group, which they said had left them feeling unsafe while working until late.
One said: “These boys come in every day and cause havoc. Last night they set fire to a bin the foyer. The smoke alarms were going off.
“Staff who do not have cars are getting taxis home rather than face them at the metro station. Disgraceful.”
Another added: “It is only a matter of time that someone is seriously going to get hurt in that store. Sad state of affairs when you don’t feel safe in your place of work.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.