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Pharmacy owner calls for more police patrols as violence goes “crazy” in Hanley

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Pharmacy owner calls for more police patrols as violence goes “crazy” in Hanley

A pharmacy owner has warned the level of violence in Hanley “has gone crazy” and called on Staffordshire Police to increase its patrols in the town after a woman was viciously attacked outside his pharmacy.

Navid Kaleem said CCTV footage at Derby Street Pharmacy revealed the woman was subjected to a brutal, unprovoked assault in broad daylight by a man who struck her on the head with a brick. West Midlands Ambulance Service said the incident was reported to them at about 1.30pm.

The assault ended after Tayyib Muqeem, a former boxer known as Mr T, and another passer-by, tackled the attacker and detained him before police arrived at the scene. A 42-year-old man was arrested. Staffordshire Police said the woman's injuries were not serious and an investigation is under way.  

Kaleem told StokeonTrentLive one of his pharmacy staff members alerted him about the attack. “A woman getting hit in the head with a brick in broad daylight. It’s mad. My staff member called me and said there was a woman who had been attacked outside and there was a pool of blood,” he said.

“I said to call the police, call an ambulance, and lock the pharmacy doors. This gentleman, Mr T, intervened. (The attacker) threw a brick at him. Mr T caught the brick, chased the guy down, and held him.

“The police came and said ‘thank you for intervening, not a lot of people would have’. Luckily, Mr T is a removal guy, so he’s quite strong and in his younger days he was a boxer. He was the right guy at the right time, he was celebrating Eid in the area so had a day off.”

Kaleem said he told staff, who were “shaking in their boots,” to close the pharmacy. “I just hope the woman's okay because the head is very, very fragile. I think she was confronting the man to say, ‘what are you doing? Calm down,’ and he just went crazy,” he said.

“For someone just going about their daily business and randomly getting attacked in the street with a stone. Imagine that was your sister, your mother or your daughter, how sad and tragic that would be.”

It was not the first time he and his staff had encountered violence. One of his team was held at knifepoint by a methadone addict a few years ago.

“When the police came, he stabbed one of the police officers in the hand. It’s a very scary environment, having this kind of stuff going on, and the girls are retraumatised now,” he said.

Kaleem insisted Hanley has a “big drug problem” and said he was “fearful” for the town. “Obviously, we need more police patrolling. That would be very helpful,” he added.



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