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CCTV plans to protect Burnley’s Queen Street mill
SECURITY could be stepped up at one of Burnley’s iconic buildings after a spate of vandal and arson attacks.
Bosses at Queen Street Mill are considering boosting security at the historic venue after a cat-alogue of 70 incidents since 2005.
Staff have even been forced to close the museum’s doors, on occasion, after louts targeted the former weaving mill premises.
Police in Briercliffe have also declared the Queen Street area a ‘hotspot’ for anti-social behaviour after repeated complaints from workers, and residents.
Roller shutters are now being sought for a staff entrance, and CCTV is being considered for the sprawling complex, which is also home to a number of businesses.
In July and August, youths were caught on the roof repeatedly, causing damage to a workshop area near the engine shed, with tiles ripped off, and north light windows smashed Contractors working on the building have also complained about their ladders being damaged, and youths climbing on scaffolding, through July and August.
Last year, there was also evidence of small fires being set in secluded doorways, around the mill, and youths intimidating staff and visitors by throwing stones.
Museum staff have also been advised to write to local parents urging them to keep their children off the mill roof in future, because of the dangers.
Susan Liddell, county council museums operations manager, said: “As well as helping to avoid the financial cost of future damage at Queen Street Mill, we need the proposed shutter and CCTV to protect, and preserve, this very important historic site.
“Repairs and replacements after damage, or theft, often involve using modern materials, whereas we would much prefer to focus on conserving the original features.
“Our staff work very hard to make the mill a successful museum that attracts visitors from far and wide, and it’s upsetting and very disappointing when something like this happens.”
Another series of incidents in April 2006 saw an attempted break-in at the shop, serious damages to slates, and a large gang of youths gathered outside intimidating, and threatening, staff.
Workers were forced to lock themselves inside the mill for their own safety.
Youths returned two days later and swarmed into the museum, stealing items from the cafe and shop. Electronic locks were fitted, and the museum was forced to close briefly because of the security risk.
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