Chorley town centre's roof climbing youths are putting their lives in danger

Youths who are climbing onto Chorley town centre roofs and making a nuisance of themselves are causing unnecessary damage - and putting their lives in danger.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 7:00 am
The former RBS and Argos buildings on Market Street, Chorley

It is feared an accident is just waiting to happen as a result of the craze which has sprung up again.

Children have been spotted jumping from one rooftop to another.

And they have been accused of breaking into empty buildings - and of throwing items down onto people below.

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Chorley Theatre

Chorley Theatre on Dole Lane is one of the buildings targeted by youths.

The cash-strapped theatre - run by Chorley Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society (CADOS) - has been struggling to survive throughout lockdown.

It has had to rely on cash lifelines from the Government to help keep it going through a challenging year.

But theatre bosses have been forced to fork out hundreds of pounds to repair damage caused by the rooftop rogues.

Ian Robinson, theatre director, said: "It’s a really big problem.

"During lockdown, when money has been tight, we’ve had to spend several hundred pounds on roof repairs from kids climbing up and causing damage.

"We’ve stopped some of them and wrote to their schools and had apologies, but it’s not just the cost and inconvenience that bothers us.

"The theatre roof is about 100 years old, and we look after it but the kids keep dislodging tiles.

"If they run up and down enough they could quite easily fall through, drop several metres and not be found for days."

He added: "More generally they’re up on roofs all around us - they like to jump across Theatre Walk from NatWest to Argos, and back again, then into RBS.

"They’ve thrown things at people on Market Street from the RBS roof.

"We’ve reported to the police a few times but they’ve run away before patrols have turned up.

"They know there’s little chance of being caught so they keep on doing it.

"They’re currently breaking into the old RBS building on a regular basis, and it’s dangerous."

Malcolm Allen, chairman of Chorley Traders Alliance, said: "It's been an ongoing problem in the town centre, youths on roofs on properties.

"The Royal Bank of Scotland on Market Street, is one . . . and on properties on Chapel Street.

"There's damage done, they're play about and it's dangerous.

"It happens every couple of years - I think this year due to lockdown it's more so than ever.

"With the light nights now and warmer weather . . . "

He added: "At one time it used to be just young lads, but it's females as well now.

"There was an incident on one of the roofs in town - above Lindsay Hoyle's office - where the fire brigade had to turn out to it.

"I know the police can't go up chasing them because of health and safety.

"It's dangerous. Somebody could get seriously injured or killed."

Firefighters were called to Chorley MP, Sir Lindsay Hoyle's office on Market Street shortly before 7pm on April 12, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service reported.

Fire engines from Chorley, Bamber Bridge and Leyland attended the incident

The fire involved a fibreglass roof and insulation materials.

Crews used a thermal imaging camera, ladders and hose reel and were at the scene for one hour.

Lancashire police said they were aware of an issue with youths climbing onto roofs in Chorley. and that the neighbourhood police team had given out advice to stop people being able to climb onto the roof.