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Security guards called in to protect library
3:30pm Wednesday 12th September 2012 in News
CORRINGHAM Library required security protection after being targeted by yobs during the summer holidays.
Abusive youngsters caused misery to the library’s users and staff, meaning security guards had to be drafted in to protect it.
The chairman of Corringham Community Forum, Danni Tate, said there had been a “massive increase in crime” with youngsters going into the library and causing chaos as they rode around on scooters, threatened staff and damaged property.
She said at one point staff were forced to barricade themselves into the library to prevent the louts coming in.
Ms Tate believes the future of the library, in St John’s Way, which underwent a £450,000 refurbishment in 2009, could be under threat. She said: “It’s a library where people go for peace and quiet.
“It’s common sense that the library might be under threat because of crime. It’s not a knee-jerk reaction, especially if Thurrock Council can’t afford to employ security.
“Now the kids are back to school the crime rate drops, but we’ve got half term coming up, so what happens then?
“I’ve heard that people won’t go into the library and the number of people using the library is going to decrease, which might also effect its future.” Ms Tate added that now the holidays are over, security guards have been removed from their post – but a guard was still in place at the library on Tuesday.
A spokesman for Thurrock Council said: “Corringham Library was not alone in having security over the summer holiday period.
“Experience has shown that several libraries face anti-social behaviour issues during the school break and one person was employed to travel between libraries this summer.
“Regular visits from police and police community support officers also helped maintain security. “There is no intention to close libraries.”
Mark Coxshall, Conservative councillor for Corringham and Fobbing, said: “To my knowledge, the library’s in no danger. “But if the council had a clearer asset management strategy, rumours like this wouldn’t get out of hand.”
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