Forfar fears over misadventures at old leisure facilities

© DC Thomson
The former Lochside Leisure Centre, Forfar.

Safety fears have been expressed over two Angus buildings which were replaced by a multi-million-pound campus.

The £38.9million Forfar Community campus was opened with fanfare in February and hundreds of visitors within the first week.

The buildings it replaced are proving a potentially lethal magnet, with teenagers spotted on the roof of the town’s former Lochside leisure centre.

Police are also stepping up patrols around the former Forfar Academy, after youths were spotted in the grounds.

Angus North and Mearns MSP Mairi Evans said the news was “very disappointing”.

“Not only can this lead to criminal damage but this reckless act can have severe consequences for the safety of those involved,” she said.

“Some young people can be encouraged by their peers to enter derelict or abandoned buildings as a dare but I would strongly urge them to resist any temptation they may have to do so.”

A spokeswoman for the force said: “We were alerted to reports of youths on a roof at Craig O’Loch Road, Forfar yesterday evening at 8.05pm. There was no trace of anyone on police arrival.

“With British Summer Time nearly upon us and the lighter nights ahead, we would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that abandoned and derelict buildings whether large or small, are not safe environments to be in.

“Whether it’s children who wrongly think such buildings serve as a playground or place to explore, or the less well-intentioned looking to steal property, the message is the same — keep out.

“Derelict and abandoned buildings can be and often are very unsafe and pose a genuine danger to anyone who ventures in. Police officers are aware of this issue and will continue to give the area their attention.”

Forfar’s community PC Scott Anderson tweeted: “Calls been received re youths going into the grounds of old Forfar Academy. Parents please ask your children to stay out for own safety.

“Also getting reports of youths climbing on roof of old leisure centre — very dangerous activity and risk to personal safety.”

An Angus council spokesman said: “Clearly we would urge people, irrespective of their age, to stay out of the grounds and away from these buildings.

“Such behaviour is irresponsible and inherently dangerous.

“We would urge parents to ensure that they are aware of where their children are and what they are doing and ask anyone who sees people behaving in this way to report the matter to the police.”