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Enough’s enough says Aldo’s owner

By Ciara Quinn

THE owners of a popular West Belfast fish and chip shop are calling for urgent action as crowds of up to 20 people are gathering nightly at the business to engage in anti-social behaviour.
Tanya Raffo, who co-owns Aldo’s fish and chip shop with her sister Lydia, says crowds are gathering from 4pm at the popular eatery at the top of the Donegall Road and continuing to stand and drink until the premises close at 11pm. Tanya told the Andersonstown News that the crowd are putting off customers coming into the takeaway and are verbally abusing and threatening the local staff.
“We have been a family owned business for these past 80 years,” said Tanya. “Our dad ran it and then me and my sister took it over around 15 years ago, but the anti-social behaviour has just got steadily worse.
“It’s ongoing drinking outside from as early as 4pm until we close. I had to phone the PSNI on Saturday and Sunday. Fair enough, they come out, but the crowd just comes back again. There have been threats of physical and verbal abuse towards me and the staff, who are local people. They know where the security camera is at the side door so they are moving round to the front entrance putting people off from coming in.”
Tanya’s husband Jeff said the same crowd have been hanging around for years.
“It’s been the same group gathering since they were around 16 or so,” said Jeff. “These aren’t kids, the oldest is around 28 and they gather here to drink. We are asking for help with this. We have contacted West Belfast MP Paul Maskey and SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood who are trying to help, but we need action now.”
Tanya added: “We had a major refurbishment to the business in March, we put in brand new seating and a new ice-cream bar. We are all feeling threatened and tense. There are a lot of good people living here, doing business here, but this crowd continues to gather.
“I was very reluctant to come to the Andersonstown News to do a story as I fear the repercussions, but it has just escalated so much now that I feel we simply have no choice.”
A spokesperson for the PSNI said: “Police can confirm that a report of anti-social behaviour by two men was received at approximately 11.10pm on the evening of Saturday, July 5. Police attended and it was found that a verbal altercation had occurred between a man and a woman.
“Just before 10pm on Sunday, July 6, police received a report of anti-social behaviour at the same premises. It was reported that a group of men were outside the premises and were causing annoyance.
“Police attended and the group moved off. Enquiries are continuing.”

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