Safety fears have been raised about children using a works site at an Aberdeen school as a “playground”.
Police were called to Northfield Academy last night after a group of youths were seen climbing the scaffolding currently surrounding the building to get to the roof.
The group of five to seven teens were spotted tipping poles and insulation panels over the edge.
By the time they arrived, they had had vanished.
But local residents say it is not the first time the youngsters have been spotted on the scaffolding and roof, where a huge fire broke out earlier this year.
Children spotted on the roof ‘every day’
One local resident said she saw the kids on the works site “quite often.”
“There’s a lot of kids that come up,” one said. “There’s normally a ladder there and they climb up that onto the roof.
“If my little grandsons are here I’m scared incase they go over and try to do it as well. One of them is going up to that school after the holidays so we’re saying to him ‘you can’t do that'”.
Another resident said the kids are up on the roof “like its a playground”.
She added: “During this whole lockdown they’ve been really good, then they go back to school and it’s all pretty much started. Some of the kids are tiny, it’s horrible to see it, even when its horrible weather they’re up on the roof. It’s basically every day, but you can’t call the police every night.”
Police confirmed they were investigating the latest call-out.
A spokeswoman said: “We received a report of youths climbing the scaffolding at Northfield Academy, Aberdeen at around 10.20pm on Thursday, May 14.
“Officers attended and there was no trace of the youths.”
Young people must be aware of danger
Local councillors urged the culprits to think about the risks they were taking.
Northfield councillor Gordon Graham said: “It’s disappointing that kids are going up and climbing the scaffolding.
“Hopefully they (the school and police) do get hold of them so they are reminded that they are putting themselves in great danger.”
Councillor Ciaran McRae added it was “disappointing” to hear youths were putting themselves at such risk, and urged anyone with information to contact the police.
He said: “The fire damage has been rectified so I wouldn’t have any major safety concerns about kids falling through the roof, but it is disappointing that kids are getting up there.”
In March, an explosion rocked the school after a fire broke out next to gas cyclinders while workers were carrying out felt repairs on the roof.
Thick black plumes of smoke could be seen from 30 miles away.
A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service report suggested the main cause of the fire was an intentional burning which got out of control in a strong wind.
Council will attempt to tighten security
Aberdeen City Council’s education convener Mohammed Taqueer Malik said the authority would be speaking to the contractor to see if security at the site could be tightened.
He said: “Police Scotland try their best all the time to control these things, but they cannot be everywhere all the time.
“It is not good for the community or the school so hopefully it will not happen again.
“We will speak to the contractor to see if they can provide something to stop the youngsters, because it is very easy for them to access and they can climb up it in seconds. Our problem is the scaffolding has to be there to carry out the work.
“The security of all of the schools are paramount to all of us, and our children’s security of course. We will try to solve this issue as soon as possible.”