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Kids on Caithness Horizons roof could fall and die, says councillor


By Gordon Calder


A FATALITY could occur unless action is taken to stop children getting onto the roof of the Caithness Horizons museum and art gallery which closed at the start of the year.

That was the stark warning issued by Thurso councillor Donnie Mackay, who is concerned that the youngsters – believed to be aged between 12 and 14 – could fall to their deaths.

"This has been going on for some time and is an accident waiting to happen," Councillor Mackay said. "Something has to be done to stop it before someone gets really hurt or dies.

"It is a dangerous stunt as they are up about 40 feet or maybe even more. If they were to fall we could be looking at a fatality."

Councillor Mackay said he had spotted youngsters on the top of the Horizons building on several occasions. "I have seen them there but am scared to shout at them in case they get a fright and fall," he said. "They run down the roof that fast they are breaking the slates, and there are problems with that roof anyway."

Councillor Mackay has tried to contact the police in Thurso to bring it to their attention. "I went there twice but on each occasion the door was closed. If the building is locked, how are you going to contact them?"

Kids are getting onto the roof of the Caithness Horizons building in Thurso.
Kids are getting onto the roof of the Caithness Horizons building in Thurso.

He also brought the matter up with Highland Council officials and was told the police had been informed.

"It is very difficult to know what the council can do about this," Councillor Mackay said. "You never expect to see kids up on a roof like that. There are no easy answers to this one."

He said parents had a role to play too. "They are responsible for their kids and for what they are doing," he added.

It is a dangerous stunt as they are up about 40 feet or maybe even more. If they were to fall we could be looking at a fatality.

Area Inspector Marlene Macdonald of Police Scotland said an incident was reported on Monday evening. "Enquiries are ongoing and officers have been in touch with the owners of the building, Highland Council, and local schools regarding the matter.

"There is an obvious risk in such activity and I would urge young people to think about their behaviour and not to put themselves or others in a situation where they could be in danger.

"I would also urge parents and guardians to make sure that they know where their children are, who they are associating with and what they are doing. Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland by calling 101."

She said there are times when the front reception at Thurso police station is closed due to police staff leave, shifts or training. But she stressed there is a contact panel on the wall outside the door and said anyone who requires Police Scotland can call 101 at any time or 999 in an emergency.



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