With Spice being used in the town centre in broad daylight some traders are becoming concerned their streets are becoming something of a ‘no-go’ zone.
One trader told The Gazette a long-standing issue with begging had become far more serious in recent months.
He said those involved had become ‘much more aggressive and intimidating and less inclined to take no for an answer’.
“The situation seems to have escalated in terms of their disruptive behaviour,” he said.
“In broad daylight, from early morning and through the working day,I have seen groups gathering in a particular doorway across from my shop and clearly taking something which I presume to be Spice.
“It seems to make their behaviour very unpredictable and I have had clients say they are scared to walk along Deansgate because of what they have seen.
“I haven’t lost any clients yet but I know some who walk the long way round to get to me because of it. The other day, I saw one guy emerge from the doorway where they were all gathered, run into the middle of Deansgate and come rushing towards our window.
“That was genuinely terrifying and something needs doing about it.”
Other business owners reported similar stories.
One reported groups of up to 10 people gathering in alleyways to use, with substance abuse carried out in the open without concern of being caught.
Another worker said ambulances had been called on several occasions but believed, following intervention by authorities, the situation has improved in recent days.