Youths have been spotted playing and climbing on the roof of a 100 foot derelict mill in Halifax as police and agencies issue an urgent warning to parents and young people.
Old Lane Mill in the Boothtown area of Halifax was built in 1825, and also known as the Canal Dye Works.
In recent months, there has been a significant increase in the number of calls to police following young people entering the site, and climbing up and down the building, with some even being reported seen on the roof, some 100ft off the ground.
Wassem Hussain and PCSO Craig Dixon Ward Officer for Boothtown, PC Anna Hall said; “Old Lane Mill is actually privately owned, so anyone entering the mill or the site is trespassing, but this isn’t about criminalising young people. This is a warning to them and their families. This building and the grounds around it are not safe.
“This isn’t a place to play, hang out or meet your friends. There are very real dangers in the unstable floors and abandoned items within the mill. You could seriously cause yourself serious injury, or pay the ultimate price with your life.
“I would also urge parents and carers of young people in the area, to think about where they might be going after school, in the evenings or during the weekends.
“Do you know where your son or daughter is, and what they are doing?
“How would you feel if you knew they were on the roof of a structure and one misplaced footstep could see them plunge over 100ft to the ground. The consequences could be catastrophic. No one wants that call. Please support us in stopping your children from entering the site.
“We are working with partners across the area to warn people of the dangers of entering sites like this one, and really want to bring the message home that areas like this pose very real dangers. Stay out of them.”
Another property, off Sedborough Road just outside of the Town Centre is also often targeted by groups of young people in the same way, resulting in high numbers of calls to the police and partners.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has also been called a number of times to reports of fires being deliberately set within Old Lane Mill and on Sedburgh Road.
They have found much of the mill to be in poor condition, with significant damage to floors and staircases posing even greater risk to those entering the building.
This also puts fire crews at risk as they then need to fully search the mill following reports of a fire.
Station Commander for Halifax Fire Station, Dom Furby, said: “West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to make sure that the message gets out to the whole community that the area is unsafe and there is a continuous risk of falling brick work or roofing sheets from the mill that could seriously injure any member of the public in the area. We would also like to reiterate to the community that setting rubbish fires in the area will stop our local appliances attending more serious incidents.”