Extra police patrols are to be mobilised in and around the area of a troubled former hospital site on the outskirts of Dundee to tackle fireraising.
Responding to the latest major outbreak, which saw 30 firefighters battle for more than four hours to bring the blaze at Strathmartine Hospital under control, Police Scotland issued a stark warning those involved were risking their own lives and those of the emergency crews.
In a video filmed outside the hospital, which sits within the Angus Council boundary, an Angus Community policing officer warned young people of the dangers in which they were placing themselves.
Her message highlighted the dangers of derelict buildings in general, and Strathmartine Hospital in particular.
STRATHMARTINE HOSPITALFollowing on from another dangerous incident at the former Strathmartine Hospital north of Dundee at the weekend, Angus Community Policing officer PC Spence has a message for young people about the dangers of derelict buildings in general, and Strathmartine Hospital in particular.
Posted by Tayside Police Division on Wednesday, 12 June 2019
She said: “It is important young people understand the potential risks and consequences of their actions whilst entering or exploring empty buildings.
“You place yourself at risk if you enter or climb on these buildings.
“The floors may be weak and the roofs may collapse at any time, resulting in severe injury or even death.
“These derelict buildings are a target for deliberate fireraising.
“This does not only pose a risk to those who are setting the fires but the emergency services who are responding to the incident.”
She urged those responsible to stay out of the derelict buildings for their own safety, and asked parents to speak to their children to highlight the dangers.
She concluded: “Officers from Police Scotland will be carrying out extra patrols in and around the area of Strathmartine Hospital.
“We ask anyone who sees anything suspicious to contact Police Scotland on 101.”
Angus councillor Beth Whiteside, SNP member for Monifieth and Sidlaw, called for urgent action after Friday night’s major blaze at the hospital, which closed in 2003, and a previous fire in March.
She said: “The latest fire had 30 firefighters in attendance at its height, a significant drain on resources and could have caused serious issues if there had been any other serious incidents in the area at the time.
“The real concern of local people is the abandoned site will continue to be a draw and that someone will end up injured or worse.”
Scottish Fire and Rescue crews from Macalpine Road, Blackness Road, Balmossie and the Kingsway attended on Friday with residents reporting flames shooting through the roof of one of the buildings.
They were back on site on Saturday morning checking for flare ups.
Robert Evans, agent for site owners Heathfield Limited, said his client was “obviously disappointed” with this latest incident.
He said: “It is really unfortunate such instances reoccur despite all the hard work done to secure the property and try to bring a viable proposal forward.”