CALLS for more police patrols have been made following a stabbing at the Sovereign Shopping Centre in Boscombe on Thursday.

Yesterday it was confirmed the victim of the attack, who is in his 20s, was a member of staff at the 99p store who worked on the shop floor.

At around 1pm he was stabbed inside the store before leaving the shop looking for help.

He was taken to Royal Bournemouth Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Following the attack, deputy mayor Phil Stanley Watts, who represents Boscombe West ward, said residents and traders had been calling for more police patrols in the area.

He said: “Although I know this incident took place in the day, I feel that the police patrols need to be stepped up especially in the evenings.

“The police box has obviously brought in a police presence. I think it’s helped but retailers all tell me they would like to see police patrols stepped up.”

He added: “Obviously I was shocked like everybody else and I still feel it’s an isolated incident. Boscombe is generally a safe place and it is a really excellent shopping centre.”

Residents and shoppers said they were shocked by the news and feared some people might be put off from visiting the area.

Speaking to the Daily Echo yesterday, 90-year-old Jean Peters said: “It’s a Friday and it’s usually quite busy but it seems a bit quieter today.

“I think some people would be put off coming here.”

The pensioner, who lives in Southbourne, added: “Boscombe is one of the poorer districts of Bournemouth.

“People say it’s improving but I really don’t know.”

Local resident Asli Akoglu added: “It’s a shame. Boscombe is meant to be doing well.

“I think the police box was helping people feel safe.”

Dorset Police said a man was due to appear before Bournemouth Magistrates on Saturday, May 10, in connection with the incident.

A spokesman from 99p Stores Ltd said: “We have been offering support to the family of the victim as well as the other staff who saw this awful incident.”

Praising the police officers and paramedics who were called to the scene, she added: “The emergency services were fantastic and everybody responded very quickly to the situation.”

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

Anyone with information is asked to call Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number 8:171 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.