Warning issued after reports of youngsters climbing on roofs

Teens climbing on the roofs above McDonald's in Welwyn Garden City in 2018.

Teens climbing on the roofs above McDonald's in Welwyn Garden City in 2018, one of many similar incidents in recent years. - Credit: Archant

Youngsters climbing on roofs in Welwyn Garden City are risking their lives, police have warned. 

Residents and businesses in the town have complained about the nuisance and criminal damage being caused, and this is now being investigated by officers. 

“We have received reports of young people climbing on the roofs of buildings in the town centre recently,” said PCSO Will Derbyshire, from the Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team. 

“We have put in preventative measures to try and stop this but in some cases, they are using fire ladders and access points which must remain clear for health and safety purposes. 

“We are working closely with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council on the matter and we have identified some of those responsible for this behaviour. Home visits have been carried out to teach the young people of the dangers of this behaviour. 

“If their behaviour continues, these young people could find themselves receiving an Anti-Social Behaviour Agreement. We shall also be looking to take action against parents and guardians who are responsible for the conduct of their children."

This is not the first time children have been spotted climbing on roofs in the town centre. Over the past few years incidents occurred in February 2020 and May and August 2018.

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PCSO Derbyshire does not want to see anyone injured and warned the youngsters of the risks of being on a roof. 

“I want to be clear; while such behaviour might seem like harmless fun, the truth is you are putting yourselves in real danger, not to mention endangering others if you were to slip and fall off on to the pavement,” he said. 

“If you are tempted to participate in this sort of behaviour, please think twice. What might seem like harmless fun could lead to serious injury or worse. Do not take that risk.” 

Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for Leisure and Community Safety, described the behaviour as ‘needless and reckless’, adding: “We are really disappointed by the reports that young people are climbing on roofs in Welwyn Garden City town centre.  

“Not only is this highly dangerous for the people doing it, but it has a huge impact on the local community.  

“It causes distress to nearby residents and damage to homes and business premises that are targeted this by needless and reckless behaviour.”