Children caught putting themselves at risk by breaking into ‘collapsing’ old factory

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 November 2018

Titan Ladders has now moved its business from Yatton to Clevedon. Picture: Google

Titan Ladders has now moved its business from Yatton to Clevedon. Picture: Google

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Children as young as 12 have been caught running on the roof of a derelict factory and trespassing in the collapsing building.

The Titan Ladders site has been closed off for a couple of years while redevelopment plans await the green light, but police have found younsters are putting themselves in danger by breaking into the factory in Yatton.

Charred embers left by fires and evidence of smoking were also discovered during a police operation.

The dangerous activities were highlighted by Police and Community Support Officer (PCSO) Cheryl Burns at Yatton PACT’s meeting on November 8.

She said: “We have had quite a bit of antisocial behaviour here in Yatton and have concerns about Titan Ladders.

“On October 17, children as young as 12 were seen on the roof.”

A fortnight later, PCSO Burns and Police Constable Adam Clarke were called to the former factory site, in Mendip Road, on October 29.

She said: “As we entered and climbed over the barbed wire there was a young lady who looked like a rabbit in the headlights when she saw us.

“I was absolutely horrified (when I saw the premises), because it is so derelict and there are hazards everywhere.

“There were burned out fires and fresh embers and the ceilings were close to falling in.”

Smoke, albeit not cannabis, was also smelt by the police but none of the children were smoking at the time.

PC Clarke, in an email read to PACT, said the building and the materials left inside are ‘very hazardous’.

He contacted the site’s owners and told them to ‘urgently’ improve security measures to prevent further incidents.

A dozen teenagers aged 14 to 16 were caught inside the factory.

Warning letters have been sent out to their parents.

PCSO Burns said: “Whether the youngsters were responsible for lighting some of the fires, I don’t know.

“We are trying to educated the parents about the dangers there.”

She said police would closely monitor the site and make it ‘one of their priorities’.

Housing plans for the factory were due to be discussed by North Somerset Council yesterday (Wednesday) after the Mercury went to press.

Council officers want the plan to go ahead, but there are concerns from neighbours.

Other antisocial behaviour issues reported to police in the past two months include youths smoking cannabis around Hangstones Pavilion.

Yatton Parish Council is getting quotes for CCTV cameras to be installed outside the premises.

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