Most of the large private hire car companies suspended service in and around the city centre on Saturday night after verbal threats aimed at their drivers by groups of right-wing extremists. The threat of continued violence was so great, that the police gave out a warning to the companies and their drivers.
It seems that some firms also got phone calls from people threatening violent acts against any Asian drivers suspected of being Muslim. One of the companies targeted was Auto Cab Private Hire, working out of Normacot . They had threatening calls over the phone, in the end the company manager, Basharat Hussein , made the decision to stop cars in the area because of the safety of his staff and customers.
Another firm, City Centre Private Hire suspended service after a call from a sergeant at Tunstall police station warning them not to go out, and that work in Cobridge was also dangerous. Other firms such as Magnum in Burslem and Lucky Seven of Longton also stopped running.
Many shops and stores in the city centre closed early as lack of trade made it the worst day many of them had ever had, some reporting takings down as much as 90%. Many of the Fountain Square stalls packed up as early 2pm. Council work began soon after the protest ended and continued though Saturday night and into the early hours of Sunday to clear the debris.
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