Staff at a Peterhead shop have been terrorised by a group of teenage vandals who have taken to loitering in the dimly lit area of town.
Workers at New Look on Drummers Corner have told how the teenage gang have broken windows, verbally abused them and even brandished a knife.
June Lovie, deputy manager of New Look, said: “It’s so stressful.
“We must phone the police almost every day, usually 101 but sometimes it’s been 999.”
Ms Lovie also explained how the staff had been given rape alarms for their own protection and how a teenager was arrested last week for waving a knife.
George Cordiner, Community Police Inspector, said: “It seems to be a continuing problem in that area.
“We have been putting more foot patrols down there to try and stop young people congregating.”
Ms Lovie said that gang is mainly from “about 14 -19 year olds”
Ashley Thom, who works in New Look, said: “It’s like they’re terrorising the shop now.”
Ms Thom says it has become so bad that New Look headquarters have allowed the staff to leave work early out of fear for their safety.
She said: “We’ve been told that we’re allowed to leave before 6 o’ clock to avoid them but we shouldn’t have to do that.”
New Look are also thinking of employing a security guard to protect their shop and staff from the vandals.
Ms Lovie said: “They wouldn’t let our delivery drivers through and they have taped up our door handles so we couldn’t get in in the morning.”
The Dorothy Perkins shop beside New Look had their window smashed on October 19.
Tracy Massie, manager at Dorothy Perkins, said: “Over the years it’s been a problem on and off but lately it seems to be getting worse.”
Inspector Cordiner believes that one of the main problems is the lack of lighting at Drummers Corner.
Discussions have been had with Aberdeenshire Council to brighten up the area but they do not own the property on which the shops are situated.
Ms Lovie, who now makes her staff leave by the back exit, said: “We just don’t know what to do.
“Our hands are tied and we need some help.”