Safety fears have been raised after youngsters broke into a disused Aberdeen swimming pool to take selfies from the top of the diving board tower – with one even doing a handstand.
Bon Accord Baths has been relentlessly targetted by intruders and vandals who have hampered efforts by a group to restore the historic building.
Bon Accord Heritage and the Save Bon Accord Baths campaign are working hard to bring the art deco building back into use.
But now the group has announced yet another break-in overnight between Saturday and Sunday, and warned of a worrying and dangerous trend, with people climbing the diving board tower to take selfies at the top.
Steven Cooper, secretary of Bon Accord Heritage, the persistent break-ins have been a kick in the teeth for the group, who have poured time and effort into the project.
He said: “We’ve been trying to highlight it just as much as we can because we’re actually really worried about the situation.
“The team members have all been giving up pretty much most of our Christmas holidays to security patrol the place. We’ve done a lot of hands-on work.
“We’ve used a good bit of the donations we got on our open weekend to try and purchase and apply additional security measures to the building.
“We’ve really tried very hard to block off places where people could try and access and climb on roofs. We applied anti-climb paint, cleared lots of areas, removed ladders, we’ve done everything we can right over the roof of the building, round the sides and round the back.
“We’ve tried our very best. In our eyes, the building is as secure as it’s been in years at the moment, but we’re dealing with some very determined people in the local area.”
And Steven highlighted a concerning trend among the vandals and intruders, which he feared could end up with somebody getting killed.
He said: “They are scaling the 33ft diving tower and taking selfies in the pitch dark.
“We’ve been told of one individual around Christmas who was filming himself doing handstands in the dark on top of the top diving board, with a 48ft drop below.
“We’re obviously very worried that there’s going to be a serious, if not fatal accident in there.
“The diving tower, the boards have long since been removed, some of the ladders have been removed to try and secure it. There’s 10ft high plywood boarding right around it and on that we’ve slathered lots of anti-climb paint.
“There’s very little else we can do to stop people accessing the tower. We’re going to try and install some spikes on it.
“Our main concern is that we think the daredevils going in are placing themselves in such an enormous amount of risk. If one of them that climbed the diving tower fell, that would probably be very, very serious injuries if not fatal.
“We did have Police Scotland out a number of times over Christmas and we did have some evidence and names which we have passed to police.
“If anyone has information about any of the individuals responsible, could they please contact the police.”
A police spokeswoman confirmed officers are investigating after vandalism had been reported on December 20, and that inquiries are ongoing.
Steven said the group was at a loss to explain why people are so determined to gain entry to the building and put themselves in so much danger in the process.
He said: “It’s an empty building. It’s not that people are trying to steal anything.
“It’s a very dangerous building for people to be in in the pitch dark with no lighting on.
“Even from just walking around the edge of the pool there’s a 15ft drop if they tripped.
“We’re a bit flabbergasted as to why this keeps happening. It’s a bit of a daredevil tactic.”
The string of break-ins and damage caused have resulted in the group losing focus on the restoration project, and instead spending time trying to beef up the security.
Steven said: “The more time we have to keep on spending upgrading security, trying to board up forced windows, it detracts from us actually campaigning, fundraising, doing what we need to do to push the project forward and restore the baths.
“We’ve been very sidetracked lately by trying to keep youngsters or older people out.”