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Repeated break-ins put Dovedale facilities at risk

Tuesday 19 November 2019

The Peak District National Park Authority has warned that a spate of break-ins and thefts from its Dovedale public toilets could put the facility at risk of closure.

The public toilets, based at the popular car park at Dovedale between Ilam and Thorpe, recently suffered their fourth incident this year.

Costs for damage, closure, staff time and loss of revenue in 2019 are so far estimated at over £3,000.

The Authority says that the combination of thefts from the facility, plus the costs of fixing criminal damage could make the toilets unviable to operate.

A small charge is made for use of the toilets due to the high level of demand, and the associated maintenance costs.

Despite usage fees being collected regularly, often leaving limited or no cash at the site, this has not deterred a series of break-ins.

In the latest incident, CCTV footage has been captured and shared with Staffordshire police.

A Peak District National Park spokesperson said: “These continued break-ins are not only frustrating for our teams on the ground left to deal with the aftermath, but they take valuable resources away from other activities within the National Park and could close a service visitors have come to rely on.

“Where other organisations have closed public toilets, we have continued to maintain those such as Dovedale, for the benefit of all our visitors – the vast majority of whom choose to support their upkeep.

“However, due to its popularity, this is not a facility we can simply maintain without financial resources and if the damage to the toilets continues we may be left with little choice but to consider closing them.”

The National Park estimates that the Dovedale toilets currently cost around £17,000 to maintain and operate.

Anyone with information regarding criminal activity at the Dovedale toilets should contact Staffordshire Police or Crimestoppers, confidentially, on 0800 555 111.

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