Pizza firm slaps ban on deliveries to estate

A PIZZA chain is refusing to deliver to Edinburgh’s Broomhouse estate after attacks on delivery drivers.

Pizza Hut has said it can no longer risk sending workers to the notorious scheme - nicknamed Little Bosnia - for "safety reasons".

The move follows a number of alleged incidents in which staff have been set upon by unruly teenagers.

The takeaway chain feared that drivers who call to houses alone at night could be seriously injured while making deliveries on the estate.

Staff at the Corstorphine branch of the takeaway chain have confirmed they no longer deliver to Broomhouse.

One worker said today: "For driver safety reasons, we will not deliver any pizzas to Broomhouse.

"Some of our delivery staff are women and we cannot take any chances.

"It’s unfortunate, but there’s not a lot we can do about it.

"Broomhouse residents can still order pizzas and pick them up from the restaurant if they wish."

In a statement, a Pizza Hut spokeswoman added: "The safety of our staff is of the highest importance.

"We decided to discontinue the delivery service in the Broomhouse area recently following a number of incidents which we believed compromised the safety of our delivery drivers."

But the move has angered some residents, who claim they are being treated like criminals.

One resident said: "I fancied a pizza so we called Pizza Hut - they had posted a menu through our door a few days before so I didn’t think it would be a problem.

"I couldn’t believe it when they told me they wouldn’t deliver."

Unable to make the journey to Corstorphine to pick up her pizza, the resident ordered her meal from Domino’s Pizza Takeaway, which promptly delivered a pizza to her home.

No other pizza delivery firms in the area refuse to venture out to Broomhouse.

But Sighthill, Broomhouse and Parkhead Community Council secretary Keith Bell said that he was not surprised that Pizza Hut had taken such drastic measures.

He added: "There has obviously been a number of incidents that have prompted this move. Although I am very disappointed, I am not surprised.

"It is a real pity because it means that all the other residents have to suffer as a result."

Inspector Margaret Lyle, a local police officer, said she was unaware of any incidents involving pizza delivery staff.

She added: "There have been no reported incidents, but if anyone wants to talk to us about this they should not hesitate to get in touch.

"Pizza Hut obviously has genuine reasons for not delivering to Broomhouse."

The estate was first dubbed "Little Bosnia" seven years ago by besieged residents who decided to hit back with a vigilante campaign against escalating violence, vandalism and intimidation by gangs of children.

Community leaders mounted a name-and-shame drive to expose the culprits to councillors, housing officials and the police.

The final straw came in September 1997 when elderly widow Florence Mitchell was forced to flee her home after two months of violence and intimidation.

The campaign led to the setting up of a project targeting youngsters in Broomhouse and North Sighthill, where workers attempted to find a solution to children’s individual problems and focused on one-to-one support and counselling.

Problems in the estate reared their head again last year when community leaders warned that not enough was being done to tackle a hardcore gang of youngsters making life a misery for many residents.

MSPs, police chiefs, council officials and community leaders turned out at a meeting called to help address the crimewave.

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