10:39AM, Thursday 29 March 2012
Homeless people bedding down behind a toy shop in Maidenhead are leaving its staff with a daily battle to clear up beer cans and excrement.
Four vagrants have taken up residence at the back entrance to Wally's Toy Shop in Market Street, which is accessed from West Street.
But as well as sleeping they use the hidden spot as a toilet and some take medication for their drug addictions there.
Shop manager Joyce Scroggie explained that homeless people had slept there before but over the last fortnight numbers had suddenly increased.
"When you go out there they've got cardboard everywhere," she said.
"There are cigarette butts, empty food wrappers and they're urinating up the wall."
"When I came in on Saturday the stench was coming under the door."
The shop is having to spend money on disinfecting the area and has forked out for chains to lock its own bin.
But this just means the men return each night to a clean 'bedroom'.
Joyce said: "I do feel sorry for them but it's just the mess they leave behind."
More often than not the men are still asleep when staff arrive at work and they have to call police to move them on.
"It's intimidating and also they are blocking a fire exit," she added.
Residents of the flats above the shop have reported hearing noises during the night as the tramps search for unsold food thrown out by the neighbouring Boots store.
A spokeswoman for Boots told the Advertiser there is no legal restriction on the way it disposes of unsold food but said the company would investigate the concerns raised.
Royal Borough community warden Grant Hing said attempts have been made to help the vagrants but they have turned the offers down.
He said wardens would visit the site regularly and speak to Boots about getting its bin locked.
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