CHILDREN are being warned about the dangers of playing in and around quarry sites.
Officers from the Lower Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team have joined the National Campaign, Stay Safe, which aims to raise awareness of the danger of trespassing in quarries.
The campaign follows a recent survey of quarry managers by Mineral Products Association, who launched the campaign, on trespass. The survey received over 400 responses. It showed that over the last 12 months 54 per cent of quarry managers who responded had experienced problems with trespass and over 26 per cent said it was a constant or significant worry.
Sergeant Dean Maddocks, who heads the team, said: “Sadly there have been a number of tragic deaths, nationally, of young people who have entered quarry sites and used them as a play ground. Calderdale has a relatively high number of quarries and we are urging parents to advise their children not to go on to any such sites.
“Particularly with the summer months approaching I would appeal to parents to know exactly where their children are out playing. Some of these quarries may be used but some aren’t but they all have dangers which can include water or quick sand, rock cliff faces as well as machinery and I would urge them not to go in such areas.”
Marshalls at Brookfoot is also actively involved in the campaign and often try to highlight the dangers of being in a quarry. They have fences which prevent people from accessing their quarries and notices which ask people not to trespass.
Managing director of Mineral Products at Marshalls, Ian Macdougal, said although they had never had any trouble at their quarries in the Brighouse area they had had a situation at one in Doncaster. “Quarries are very dangerous places and youngsters need to be aware of the hazards involved and keep out. I would also echo Sgt Maddocks comment about appealing to adults to make sure they know where their children are.”
The Stay Safe campaign also hits out at irresponsible adults who fail to recognise that their own trespass leaves holes in fences for children to gain access and at those who post material encouraging trespass on the web.
Over the last two years, six teenage boys lost their lives in the UK in active or disused quarries. The campaign uses hard-hitting videos about the effect the accidents have had on family and friends.
Further information about the campaign can be found at www.mineralproducts.org