At random with Martin Laing 22.08.19


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Shocking crime

There was widespread dismay last week after an armed raid at Oban’s Marks and Spencer Foodhall.

A very young member of staff – she was just 17, we were told – was forced at gunpoint to hand over a three-figure sum of money and was understandably traumatised by her very frightening experience.

Thankfully, a person has been apprehended for the offence. Police Scotland responded by carrying out extensive inquiries and providing a mobile police station the car park outside the store.

This was a shocking incident to happen anywhere but perhaps especially in a community such as ours where serious crimes are thankfully rare.

I hope this was a one-off but for the sake of staff in the retail sector across the area, I also hope that employers are reviewing with urgency their security provisions.

No one should have to face this kind of trauma as part of their working day and I feel desperately sorry for the people involved.

And I would urge anyone with any information to contact the police as soon as possible.

Ramping it up

Oops! It seems I have been a bit hasty in this space recently when I considered the work being carried out at Oban’s Tesco store to upgrade the emergency exits.

I wrote two weeks ago: ‘My only concern is that all the new escape routes seem to involve steps. What about people with mobility problems, or wheelchair users or mums with tots in buggies?

‘In the highly unlikely event of an emergency, how are they to exit the supermarket if the front entrance is not available?

‘At least one of these escape routes should have a ramp.’

Time to eat humble pie. The guys from KCR Building Solutions were quite rightly peeved that I went off half-cocked because the following week they installed just such a ramp.

What do you think?

Write to me at or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4HB, or call 01631 568021.