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Hutt St traders urge customers to ignore safety threat claims

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Several Hutt Street traders have appeared in a video hoping to restore customers’ confidence in what they describe as a “safe, friendly” shopping strip.

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Representatives of Bocelli Caffe Ristorate, Hutt Street Chicken and Seafood, So Spa Boutique, Cibo and Coffylosophy, as well as Hutt Street jeweller Kip Wilckens, appear in the video, arguing that prominent claims about regular violence on the street were wrong.

The amateur video, produced by local resident Serafina Tané, has been shared more than 240 times and viewed more than 11,000 times since it was posted on social media on Monday afternoon.

In it, Bocelli Caffe Ristorante co-owner Franco Salzano says he has never had to call the police in 17 years of trading on Hutt Street.

“We’ve been here for 17 years and we run a very successful business,” he tells Tané.

“We have no problems whatsoever, we never call once the police or anything else because we are happy and, as I say, we have no problems existing.”

Cibo manager Stelios Eleftheriou describes Hutt Street as safe and friendly on the video and argues claims of violence there are “fake news”.

He told InDaily this morning that while he would see an intoxicated person on Hutt Street “once in a blue moon”, the frequency of “mischief” there was no different to on Rundle Street, or in Rundle Mall at night.

Eleftheriou said he appeared on the video for the purpose of “restoring a bit of confidence that it isn’t a dangerous street”.

He claimed there was “no mischief” as well as “no homeless people” near Cibo, which is located near the middle of Hutt Street a couple of hundred metres away from the Hutt Street Centre, which provides meals and services to people experiencing homelessness.

“It’s completely safe – we’ve never had an issue,” he added describing recent negative media portrayals of the street as “complete bullshit”.

Adelaide City Councillor Alex Antic has labelled Hutt Street “Shut Street” and warned of escalating violence that was likely to see someone “killed”.

Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink told InDaily this week that “the State Government shares the concerns regarding public safety issues on Hutt Street”.

But SA Police says the rate of criminal activity in Hutt Street has not changed in recent months.

Superintendent Craig Wall told InDaily on Tuesday that he was deploying extra resources to the southeast corner of the CBD combat “fear of crime” in the Hutt Street precinct as much as the rate of actual crime.

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