Children use construction sites and derelict properties as playgrounds

Alert Tower

A call has gone out to urge prop­er­ty own­ers of con­struc­tion sites or aban­doned prop­er­ties to ensure chil­dren can­not access them over the East­er hol­i­days, after fam­i­lies in Stoke-on-Trent fear a child might be injured if a for­mer school is not demol­ished. Also a report in The Times cit­ed that young peo­ple were break­ing into build­ing sites, includ­ing a ris­ing trend in urban explor­ers’ out to inves­ti­gate unusu­al, aban­doned properties.

As schools break up for East­er, the prop­er­ty secu­ri­ty spe­cial­ists, VPS, have heed­ed the call from par­ents to warn own­ers about the risks to chil­dren tempt­ed to use build­ing sites or derelict premis­es as play­grounds dur­ing the holidays.

Con­struc­tion sites and aban­doned build­ings are a mag­net for chil­dren look­ing to explore and play” says Dar­ron Cavanagh, Chief Oper­at­ing Offi­cer for VPS, And not only chil­dren, but the grow­ing inter­est in urban explor­ing’ means many youths and adults are also curi­ous tres­passers. But they can be dan­ger­ous places. Last June, an urban explor­er fell to his death from the roof of an aban­doned dairy in Devon.”

Prop­er­ty and landown­ers of vacant sites are respon­si­ble for keep­ing them safe and secure whilst they lie emp­ty. To remove com­bustible mate­ri­als, ensure access points are well-pro­tect­ed, and, for par­tic­u­lar­ly vul­ner­a­ble sites, to con­sid­er remote­ly mon­i­tored CCTV. Quite apart from the costs of rec­ti­fy­ing dam­age from arson or van­dal­ism, if a seri­ous injury or worse hap­pens to any­one – even if they are tres­pass­ing – the own­ers can be held liable if they are found to have been negligent.” 

The VPS Group is Europe’s lead­ing tem­po­rary secu­ri­ty spe­cial­ist, pro­vid­ing an Intel­li­gent Triple Pro­tec­tion ser­vice, secur­ing sites with the widest range of solu­tions from Mon­i­tored Tech­nol­o­gy such as 247 alarms, CCTV Tow­ers, perime­ter mon­i­tor­ing and scaf­fold alarms, as well as tra­di­tion­al Phys­i­cal Pro­tec­tion, such as steel pan­els and doors, and Human Inter­ven­tion – whether that be pre­ven­tion through use, patrols or surge guard­ing and inspec­tions. No mat­ter how chal­leng­ing it is to secure a spe­cif­ic site, VPS can com­bine the widest range of options to find the best-fit solu­tion for every customer.

Addi­tion­al Notes and references:

Urban explor­er death 2020:


In the last few weeks:

March 22nd: Fam­i­lies warn a child will die’ at a for­mer school in Stoke on Trent.


March 20th: fire, one of sev­er­al in recent times, in derelict mill in Lancashire


Match 18th: arson attacks, van­dal­ism on for­mer social club in Grantham


March 9th: ille­gal gath­er­ing at for­mer air force base in Lincolnshire


March 3rd: Derelict build­ing fire clos­es road in Burnley