Plan for guard at vandal-hit centre

Kimberley leisure centre

Kimberley leisure centre

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A security guard will be permanently employed at Kimberley Leisure Centre to combat problems with vandalism and anti-social behaviour, if plans are given the go-ahead.

Head of leisure at Broxtowe Borough Council, Ashley Marriott, said the centre was a ‘magnet’ for anti-social behaviour and the guard would work every day if money could be found in the council budget.

Mr Marriott said cars were being damaged and youths were hanging around drinking, climbing over the walls to use the centre without paying and using threatening behaviour towards staff.

He added that security was deployed at the centre last April as a temporary measure, and it helped problems so much the council wanted to make it a permanent arrangement.

Mr Marriott said “The incidents of anti-social behaviour have fallen dramatically, so we only think it’s right to try and carry on with it.

“When you’ve got paying customers coming in and families and children, we are conscious that we need to be take action to stop the problems happening.

“Customers weren’t happy. We had lads hanging around and causing all sorts of nuissance problems.

“We knew people found the behaviour intimidating and quite unacceptable in the family environment.”

The security guard, who would watch over the centre between 4pm and 10pm each day, would be jointly funded by the council and the Kimberley School.

Years ago security guards were employed at leisure centres across the Broxtowe borough, but over time the jobs were abolished to save money.