Store asked to alter charity window display

Steph Widdows has been to told to change her window display by the police at her PPP Emporium in Kirkham following a complaint.
Steph Widdows has been to told to change her window display by the police at her PPP Emporium in Kirkham following a complaint.
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A SHOP owner has been left baffled after her charity take on England’s riots fell foul of the law.

T-shirt designer Stephanie Widdows created an anti-rioting display in the window of her Kirkham shop in a bid to raise cash for those affected by the recent troubles.

But police in the town were less than impressed by the 26-year-old’s “I Predict a Riot” slogans – inspired by the infamous Kaiser Chiefs song – and asked her to remove the fundraising display.

Miss Widdows, who has only been running PPP Emporium, on Poulton Street, for two weeks said: “I’ve designed two T-shirts, one that says “Riot” and one that says “I Predict a Riot”, but someone who went past complained about the wording so the police came and asked me to pull it down.

“They didn’t forcefully ask me to remove it but they said it would be better if I did. It was the wording they were bothered about,

“I think it was a bit too ironic for them.”

But Miss Widdows, who used to run a stall in Manchester’s Afflecks Palace, said her display was clearly protesting against the riots.

The rest of her window display remains in tact, and features a mannequin posing with a broom to help with the post-riot clean-up operation.

She is selling the T-shirts at £14 a time, with £10 going to the Red Cross, who are helping riot victims.

Miss Widdows, who lives in Kirkham, said: “I thought it was pretty obvious because the mannequin has a broom it was anti-riot.

“I didn’t want to be annoying so I took the T-shirt down but the T-shirt is still in the shop. I’ve got friends that work in Manchester and their businesses have been affected by the riots because their trade has gone downhill.”

Police confirmed they received a complaint from a passer-by who was visiting from London and was offended by the window display.

A spokesman added: “We had a word with the shopkeeper and she was happy to remove it.”

Despite her display problems, Miss Widdows said her new business – which sells handmade T-shirts, jewellery and vintage goods – is going well.

She added: “It’s doing really well. I think I’ve found a bit of a niche market because there’s not really anything like this in Kirkham.”