Children as young as nine have been terrorising a Dundee retail park by abusing staff, vandalising premises and scaring animals at a pet shop.
On Thursday employees at Pets At Home near the Mid Craigie roundabout were forced to lock the shop after a group of boys caused a “riot”.
Really felt for your members of staff at Dundee store this evening Having to keep doors locked to prevent large group…
Customers in the Kingsway Retail Park store said the youths threatened and spat at staff, kicked windows and swore.
One eyewitness said staff had to lock everyone inside in an attempt to prevent the children, aged between around nine and 13, from entering.
Customers were left shocked by the behaviour, which “terrified” the employees and the animals within the shop.
Meanwhile staff at the nearby Wicke’s DIY store said children of around the same age have been running into the shop, shouting and unleashing a “torrent of abuse” when confronted.
They said there had been four such incidents the previous week.
Police confirmed they were aware of the incident at Pets at Home, which happened at around 6pm, but said officers had not been able to trace the group when they arrived.
One customer who was in the shop at the time said: “The young boys were screaming at staff, swearing and shouting when asked to leave for running around, causing the poor animals in the pens to hide.
“Staff had to close doors and essentially lock us in to keep them out.
“They started causing a riot outside the store, kicking glass doors which caused loud bangs and spitting at staff and on windows. My five-year-old’s never seen anything like that so it caused him alarm.
“Staff need to be praised in their efforts to control the situation and protect the store and the terrified animals.
“Because of the age of the boys, nothing happens so they just continue causing havoc with no repercussions. No one should go to work to receive abuse from little yobs. I would be appalled if it was my kids.”
A manager at Wicke’s said it had not suffered such severe problems but the youths’ behaviour was still causing a nuisance.
The manager, who did not want to be named, said: “We have kids coming in, shouting and when we tell them to leave or that we’ll cause the police we get a torrent of abuse.
“They just laugh at you. They know no one can touch them.”
Nobody from Pets at Home was available for comment.