Someone could die in Lanark rooftop antics

The rooftop of WH Smith in Lanark  (Picture Sarah Peters)
The rooftop of WH Smith in Lanark (Picture Sarah Peters)

Police and the management of a store are warning that someone could be seriously injured or killed in worrying antics high above Lanark High Street.

Young people have been climbing onto the lower part of the roof of WH Smith, and then making their way to higher rooftops.

Young people are actually jumping across the alleyway to other building (Picture Sarah Peters)

Young people are actually jumping across the alleyway to other building (Picture Sarah Peters)

Some have even jumped to the roof on the other side of the alleyway which is at the side of the store.

“It is mindless behaviour, and it is only a matter of time until someone is seriously injured if we don’t get a stop put to this,” said Lanark’s community police officer James Higgins.

Pauline Mathieson, manager of the Lanark store fears that someone is going to be killed.

The lowest section of the WH Smith roof is only some seven feet from the ground, and young people, even schoolchildren at lunchtime, have been climbing up there for many years.

But now others are going on up the store’s fire escape, and out onto the highest part of the roof.

“They are jumping from my roof to the other rooftop across the alley, and one of them is going to be killed,” said Pauline.

She said that teenagers and other young adults had been climbing onto the WH Smith roof for years, but now their behaviour had become much more dangerous.

“They have been going into the fire escape and drinking and taking drugs there,” she said.

Last Monday guttering was pulled off at one part of the roof and vandals threw it up onto another building at the side of the store.

“If they had thrown that into the gap while someone was going through it, it would have killed them,” said Pauline.

In a separate incident last Tuesday, Pauline challenged two boys on the roof.

“The lads were sitting with their legs swinging off the roof, and I said ‘Come off, before one of you gets killed’.

“They jumped down and ran away. You can’t catch them,” said Pauline.

“It has been going on for years and years, but it is worse now than it was. They are jumping from roof to roof.

“If someone falls it is going to be serious because they are jumping from one roof on to another.”

She has contacted the police on a number of occasions, but the boys have only to jump down and run off before officers get to the store.

WH Smith has taken various actions over the years, including putting up anti-vandal spikes, to try to keep teenagers off the roof and it is now looking at the possibility of a putting up a fence running round the inside of the roof.

But Pauline hopes that parents will become aware of the danger and that they can then help to get the message across to young people before someone is badly hurt.

She asks them all to check with their children and warn them about it.