SECURITY at the Lanark Lifestyles Centre has been slammed after thefts there left members of the public seriously out of pocket.
There is also anger that centre bosses seem to have washed their hands entirely of any responsibility for compensating the victims.
The row has its origins on September 1 when lockers rented by those using the pool and gym were forced open and various goods taken.
One of the thefts was of the wallet, driving licence and £300 mobile phone belonging to 24-year-old Lanark architecture student Alfred Fraser Harris.
His angry dad David takes up the story: “If all your valuables were stolen from a locked locker, you would think the owner would compensate you for your losses.
Not if the owner is South Lanarkshire Leisure, who run Lifestyles.
“Alfred was working out in the gym and left his mobile and wallet - containing mostly photos of family and friends of sentimetal value - `safely’ locked in his locker. That’s what he thought.
“When he came back, the locker had been broken into – forced open – and his belongings stolen.
“Someone had walked in with an instrument strong enough to force a metal locker, passed the reception without being challenged, broken into three lockers and left with the stolen goods, unchallenged.
“Alfred later received a letter from South Lanarkshire Leisure’s insurers, refusing to pay compensation on the grounds their centre could not have “foreseen” this act. This is a spurious argument because theft is by its nature unforeseen.”
“The compensation issue aside, what does this say about the level of security at the centre? Are we safe to let our children swim in a place with such lax security?”
The general manager of South Lanarkshire Leisure & Culture, Gerry Campbell, said: “This was a very unfortunate and malicious incident which appears to have been carried out by a planned group of thieves targeting lockers in sports centres in both North and South Lanarkshire.
“We do have CCTV covering car parks and main entrance areas which we have been able to pass to the police to help with their investigations.
“We do sympathise with the customer. However, notices are in place in our centres advising that belongings left in lockers are at the owners’ risk.”