Parents have reported that teenagers have been turned away from McDonald’s in Leamington town centre amid police concerns over incidents at the fast food restaurant.
Last week, Warwickshire Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams in Leamington and Whitnash sent letters to headteachers asking them to give a message to pupils and parents about the behaviour of teenagers at the branch in the Parade over the past few weekends.
The letter said that over the past few weekends large groups of teenagers from all over Warwickshire as well as Coventry and Banbury had been gathering at the branch and engaging in various acts of anti-social behaviour including minor assaults against one another and members of staff.
The police also said that they had information to suggest that drug misuse is going on in the premises, with dealing taking place between groups.
Parent Edward May contacted the Courier to say his teenage children and their friends tried to go into the restaurant at the weekend but were turned away by a member of staff because they were not accompanied by and adult and that this was due to ‘all the trouble’.
Mr May said: “McDonald’s banning teenagers from their restaurant and labelling them as drug dealing, knife wielding, violent thugs is totally unacceptable.
“The vast majority of our town’s youth are law abiding and well behaved individuals and it is unacceptable that they are being labelled in this way by an organisation with such significant prejudices against them.”
A McDonald’s spokesman said: “We do not have a company-wide policy which restricts teenagers coming in to our restaurants.
"However, the safety and security of our people and customers is our absolute priority, so while there is no formal policy at the restaurant in Leamington Spa, on some occasions the manager will use their discretion to request that teenagers are accompanied by an adult.
We are also working very closely with the local police to play our part in combating any increase in anti-social behaviour in the local area.”