BOSTON – A number of small business owners located near what is called the "Methadone Mile"  in Boston’s South End are concerned with a rise in criminal activity.

Small business owners feel so unsafe they have been locking their doors at times during business hours and when the sun goes down to protect themselves, their business and their customers.

"We've had to start locking our doors at night, the minute the sun goes down," Kandace Cummings, the owner of Anita Kurl Hair Salon located on Washington Avenue, told Boston 25 News.

"It's absolutely insane. You can tell there's no reasoning with them or speaking to them," Kandace Cummings added.

Cummings also shared how she has been forced to hold the door to her business to stop questionable characters from entering her salon.

Other business owners have voiced their hardships; from dealing with unconscious individuals slumped over on the side walk to finding human waste in their alley ways and dumpsters as well as used needles.

"We clean it every day and they keep going every day and night," Efstathios Andreadis, owner of Pizza Stop on Harrison Avenue, shared of the alley ways.

Andreadis and other owners have received tickets for the litter created by those loitering in the area.

For Cummings, she just wants the city to step in and help with those loitering in the South End.

"It's not a solution of 'get them out of here,' " Cummings said. "Help them, and once you help them, you help us.”

Some small business owners are so frustrated they have contemplated moving out of the area or hiring private security.

Residents in the are also concerned about the safety of their neighborhoods.

"Our camera will get pinged 15-20 times in a matter of hours," shared Alexandra Krotinger, who lives in the South End. "Stumbling and defecating behind cars and leaving behind needles and getting into fights with one another."

Adding, "I look at my call logs and one of those bad days 911 is called seven or eight times."

Boston Police have now increased their presence in the area with officers making the rounds until midnight to ensure safety and order.

In the meantime, Mayor Walsh is working to address the problem of Methadone Mile with a strategy he plans to unveil to the public within the next week, as confirmed by the Boston Globe.

Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash