Tesco step up security at Welwyn Garden City site
PUBLISHED: 06:25 20 February 2012
AN investigation is under way into how a group of “urban explorers” got inside Welwyn Garden City’s iconic Shredded Wheat factory in broad daylight.
Security is being stepped up at the disused Broadwater Road site, after images from inside the Grade II-listed building were posted on the internet.
Pictures taken both outside, inside and from the roof of the abandoned factory appeared on website 28 Days Later, an online forum dedicated to the craze of urban exploration – the practice of photographing disused spaces within industrial and residential areas.
The pictures were posted by a forum member calling themselves “Skeleton Key”, under the title “the nabisco shredded wheat factory-jan-2012 [sic]”.
In their “report”, the intruder claims to have been joined by fellow explorers Bonfire Queen, Troglodyte and Peaches.
Among the photos is one showing four people, masks covering their faces, posing outside the building.
Now supermarket giant Tesco, which owns the site, has said it will review its security arrangements in light of the breach.
“We take security on this site very seriously,” a spokeswoman said.
“We are very concerned by this breach, not only because it is breaking trespassing laws but because of the personal risk taken by the people who’ve broken in.
“These factory buildings are derelict and in a dangerous state and for this reason they are guarded 24 hours a day by a security officer.
“On a Saturday and Sunday night the cover is increased to two guards. We also have a strong security fence running around the perimeter of the site.
“We will be reviewing our security measures in light of this breach to assess how we can improve them further.”
Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant Malcom Dey said: “We are currently investigating a post on the internet which relates to an alleged incident of being in an enclosed premises for unlawful purposes, at the disused Shredded Wheat factory in WGC.
“Anyone with information relating to the incident is asked to call me as soon as possible via the non-emergency number 101.”
The WHT contacted 28 Days Later and asked to speak to Skeleton Key, but is yet to receive a response.