Murder latest low to blight town, as traders express fears for area

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Rewind one week, and Scarborough was waking to the news that yet another murder had been committed in the town.

Eastborough, an area of the town that would typically be brimming with life at this time of the year, was in police lockdown, as detectives scoured the area for clues as to how 41-year-old Jonathan Binns had been killed only hours earlier.

Traders voiced their displeasure that their businesses were forced to shut during the peak of the summer season. Others were more concerned about safety in the area.

However, as police quelled community fears by announcing that four men had been arrested in connection with the murder, traders and residents began collectively voicing their concerns about the current state of the street, the area and the town.

They complain that this scenic part of Scarborough has been in freefall for the past five years, and Wednesday night’s murder of Mr Binns, months after teenager Michael ‘Angel’ Graham was stabbed to death a few hundred yards away, showed the area to be in terminal decline.

“This business is now up for sale, as we’ve just had enough,” said Cafe View owner Graham Baxter.

“We’ve been here five years, and it’s got a lot worse around here during that time.

“The people that live down here are terrific, but there’s another element, an unwelcome one, that’s ruining this area.”

The murder of Mr Binns, the second on the street in a matter of years, is just the tip of a very unpleasant iceberg for many down here.

They tell of armed police raids in broad daylight. They say boozed-up revellers cause mayhem by fighting in the street during opening hours.

And they claim it’s forcing trade away.

“It gets to a certain time, and the atmosphere just changes. It’s like a football atmosphere, it’s intimidating,” added Mr Baxter.

“We have to close as it’s not worth the hassle.”

Others echo his concerns. Derek Wilshaw has worked in the area for 15 years, his store Past Times Studio, is only yards away from the murder scene.

“The police have been great since the murder happened, but I’ve seen more of them here in the last few days then in the whole of the last 15 years.

“I would like to see more police down here, as it needs them, but let’s face it, it’s not going to happen.”

Regardless of whether the police presence in the area is beefed up in the wake of yet another murder, for many living and working in the street, Mr Binn’s death to many is symbolic of the decline of the area.

“I’m not at all shocked by this, but how sad is it that I feel that way?” said cafe worker Rebecca Whitfield.

And 33-year-old Scarborough man John Butcher added: “The whole thing is just crazy.

“The whole place seems to be getting even more dangerous.”

Four people have now been charged in connection with Mr Binn’s death, with two of them charged over his murder.

The other two face lesser charges. All four appeared at Leeds Crown Court yesterday, following an emotional initial hearing at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning.