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 Bartley Oriental 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


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 17:42

The town hall wants the government to pay for fire safety measures after a committee called for sprinklers to be fitted in all high-rises – something that could cost up to £97million.

Yesterday, 16:54

Plans have been approved for a new children’s home in Islington to be run by a King’s Cross charity.

Dillon Zambon, one of the two young men accused of being part of Nashon Esbrand’s murder in Canonbury last year, this afternoon told a jury: “I never intended for Nashon to get hurt.”

Yesterday, 14:30

The heroic Islington firefighters who rescued Angel flood victims joined the Pearly King and Prince of Finsbury to be given the freedom of the borough last night.

Yesterday, 14:16

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was slashed with a knife near King’s Cross station last night.

Yesterday, 11:16

City University students showed their support for striking lecturers by staging a sit-in protest this week.

Thu, 17:44

Business owners waded in to try and break apart a 20-strong group of scrapping teenagers in Highbury last night.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now