Complaints prompt Asda in Oadby to shut multi-storey car park
A supermarket has closed its multi-storey car park at night to stop youths gathering there to take drugs, rev cars and play music loudly into the early hours.
Asda in London Road, Oadby, is now shutting its car park from 10pm until 6am following complaints from neighbours about the anti-social behaviour.
Police have said that because the car park is lit and sheltered, youths have been travelling from across the city to meet there.
Several complaints have been made to the police, local authorities and the store manager from residents in adjacent Regent Street and opposite on Leicester Road regarding the impact the noise was having on their lives.
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Complaints have centred on people racing in cars, performing wheel spins, playing stereos loudly, dealing drugs and dropping litter.
Resident Sarah Barson, who lives in Regent Street, welcomed the closure.
Ms Barson, 21, said: "It is about time they did this.
"The persistent noise and racket coming from over there until all hours has been ruining our lives.
"I have a 13-month-old daughter and she was always being kept awake or woken up by the screeching of car tyres or the loud music.
"Now we can have some peace in our lives."
Resident Betty Ellis also praised the move.
Mrs Ellis, 87, of Regent Street, said: "It is good the police and the supermarket have got together to sort this out.
"It was a real problem. The noise was awful and very inconsiderate.
"We, and other people in the street, had got really fed up with all the commotion, so this is very good news indeed."
Sergeant Vanessa Robinson, anti-social behaviour officer for the Oadby and Wigston local policing unit, said she had spoken to offenders at the scene.
"They state the location presents them with an open, lit space which is under cover and keeps them dry," she said.
"These very features encourage large groups of people to travel from across the city and use the car park as a meeting venue.
"Positive action has been taken by the police with regard to the people causing the problems, but a long-term solution was needed to solve the problem."
Asda store manager Andy Gooding said the supermarket had been working with the police to try to find a solution to the problem.
He said: "I believe we have a duty of care to our colleagues, our customers and residents to ensure we provide a safe shopping and working environment.
"Therefore, we have taken steps to close off the underground car park in the evenings between the hours of 10pm and 6am.
"We hope by taking these positive steps it will be evidence of our ability to listen to the needs of the community and respond appropriately to promote a safer community."