Search

Archway Oriental supermarket defends decision to ID all customers before entry

PUBLISHED: 10:33 12 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:33 12 March 2018

'Please show ID before entering': The sign at Oriental Food in Junction Road. Picture: Tom Bartley

'Please show ID before entering': The sign at Oriental Food in Junction Road. Picture: Tom Bartley

Tom Bartley

An Archway supermarket owner has defended his policy to ID customers, saying: “We don’t feel safe.”

Oriental Food in Junction Road. Picture: Tom BartleyOriental Food in Junction Road. Picture: Tom Bartley

Simon Wong, who runs Oriental Food in Junction Road, is making people buzz the shop door and show their ID before they are allowed entry.

He said he installed the system last summer after being abused and attacked by young people.

When the Gazette visited his shop on Friday, Mr Wong said: “We don’t feel safe letting people in freely without knowing who they are. Groups of schoolchildren used to regularly come in, being abusive and throwing rubbish in the shop.

“The road is a crime haven. We have had customers running into the shop asking for help before. They stole a helmet from inside the shop and even tried to steal my moped for deliveries, and were always giving me racist abuse.”

'Please have ID ready': The sign at Oriental Food in Junction Road. Picture: Tom Bartley'Please have ID ready': The sign at Oriental Food in Junction Road. Picture: Tom Bartley

Mr Wong, who said he called police four times in one week in September last year, believes race plays a huge part in his shop being targeted: “They only seems to go after minority shops. The Chinese students in the area also get a lot of grief – some of them even had stones thrown at them by local kids.

“I have had to take down the website because I was getting prank calls with fake orders. It has definitely affected the business, but we have to feel safe first.”

But one long-term customer, who didn’t wish to be named, told the Gazette after being asked to show ID: “I have been in this shop tonnes of times before. He has always been very friendly, very nice, very helpful.

“My girlfriend and I tried to walk in and the door was closed. He came out saying: ‘No, no, no – you’re not coming in.’ He asked for photo ID. I was like: ‘You have given me recipes!’

"The road is a crime haven. We have had customers running into the shop asking for help before."

Simon Wong

“It’s such a weird thing, and sad because it’s the only supermarket like that in the area – and it’s really good! It would be a real shame if this continues.”

But Mr Wong countered: “We explained to customers why we do it. Some regulars get upset because we don’t always recognise their faces, but we ask everyone for identification to be fair.”

Though his measures have had a knock-on effect on business, Mr Wong said: “The boys are a lot quieter now. But I still fear for the safety of the residents and I will not be removing the lock until I feel completely safe.”

Related articles

Latest Islington News Stories

11:15

Two-long standing stallholders have been named Islington’s Market Traders of the Year after the judges couldn’t split them.

Yesterday, 15:42

Police want to speak to this woman over £1,500 worth of damage to a minicab caused by two passengers.

Finsbury Park has been stripped of its Green Flag status after a damning “mystery shopper” report by an environmental charity.

Yesterday, 11:58

It used to be the most polluted primary in Islington – now St John Evangelist is the first school to ban cars at pick-up and drop-off times.

Yesterday, 10:23

Eastenders actor and Celebrity Masterchef winner John Partridge will be switching on the Archway Christmas lights.

Mon, 19:13

A 61-year-old man threatened to fetch his gun while arguing with a shopkeeper in King’s Cross Road on Sunday, it is claimed.

Mon, 18:22

A sports academy is offering free sessions to Islington children every Sunday morning at Market Road Football Pitches.

Mon, 17:02

A discount card supporting local independent businesses has expanded into Islington.

Promoted Content

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now