SECURITY at a district library could gradually be wound down after the number of anti-social incidents there decreases

SECURITY at a district library could gradually be wound down after the number of anti-social incidents there decreases, councillors have been told.

A recent report into libraries in the Shipley Constituency revealed that repeated incidents of anti-social behaviour in , at the 5 Rise Shopping Centre, had led to a security guard being employed for the facility since last summer.

The cost to the taxpayer for this security is £725 a week.

The report was discussed by members of Bradford Council’s Shipley Area Committee on Wednesday evening, when members asked how long the security would be in place.

Chair of the Committee Councillor Marcus Dearden (Lab, Bingley) said: “We’ve been told by staff that there haven’t been any incidents lately, and the police have said there haven’t been any recent incidents.

“How long is the security going to be in place? It has been about six months – we’re looking at around £37,000 a year. With a tightening budget do we need security anymore? It is a shame we needed it in the first place.”

Sue Rollins, District Library Manager, said: “We are reducing the amount of time they are on the site.

“For years we have been in touch with the local schools to make sure pupils are told to use the library appropriately.

“We found security was the only way we could make sure everyone who uses the library feels safe. We tried other ways, having security isn’t ideal as it puts people on edge, but it does work.

“A lot of the time police know the kids who are causing the problem, but feel there is no point speaking to their parents because they won’t be interested.”

She said the presence of two large schools near the library was one possible reason why Bingley’s Library had seen issues that were not found at other libraries in the district.

Councillor Debbie Davies (Cons, Baildon) asked if such drastic measures had been used in any other library in the district.

Christine May, manager of Bradford Libraries, said the service “occasionally” needed to bring in security for City Library in Bradford’s City Park. She added: “But this is the only time we’ve had to employ security.

“Nationally a lot of libraries have to employ security guards on a permanent basis.”

Members were told that police were called when there were isolated incidents, but the decision to employ a security guard was due to a “pattern of behaviour.”

Source – Telegraph and Argus