Children are dicing with death playing on the roof of abandoned Derby factory

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Terrified locals have said it is only a matter of time before children who are playing on the roof of a derelict Derby factor will fall and die - unless more is done to make it safe.

Youths have smashed their way into the former Derwent Press building, in Nottingham Road, Chaddesden, and are regularly climbing onto the roof and smashing windows, say residents.

Members of the public fear it will be the scene of another tragedy similar to the the death of 12-year-old Adam Johnson, who died after falling through the roof of the former Aida Bliss factory in City Road, Chester Green, on September 8.

A gate where the barbed wire has been removed

A gate where the barbed wire has been removed

Following Adam's death, residents living near the 19th-century building described the site as a “death trap” and an “accident waiting to happen”.

Now people living near the former Derwent Press building have made the same warnings.

David Swann, 50, who lives opposite the building, said: "I've seen several groups of them on the roof quite often, it's terrifying to see.

"There's a fire escape around the back and it looks like they have smashed down some fencing and got in through there. I have lived here since 2001 and the problem has only started to emerge in the last few months.

"It's very, very, high up there and I just fear it will be a scene of a tragedy when one of them falls off. They're only aged about 11, 12 and 13.

"The Christmas holidays were especially bad. I think it's such a shame when they're playing on the roof and inside when there's a park around the corner. The police have been out quite a few times.

"They have smashed the place up. The windows are trashed and they make a right racket. I'm more bothered about the fear of one of them falling off. It'll only be a matter of time and it would be absolutely tragic.

"Something has got to be done so it doesn't happen. We don't want what happened in Chester Green here - it'd be heartbreaking."

It has been claimed youths have also smashed windows inside the former factory

It has been claimed youths have also smashed windows inside the former factory

"At the end of the day something needs to be done about the actual site. I'd welcome flats and homes, certainly. Or even industrial units. Anything would be better than we have now."

Katherine Smith, 40, of Nottingham Road, said New Year's Eve was the latest occasion the youths had been at the former factory.

She said: "Something needs to be done. I think more security would help. I haven't seen any security there for years and years. It would get the message across.

"I'd love to see it all get knocked down and I wouldn't mind what it is replaced with. Homes and flats would really make the area nicer and refreshed. It's very worrying that there will be a tragedy there involving one of the youngsters on the roof. It'd be dreadful."

Derwent city councillor Richard Hudson said he was very concerned to hear the news. He said: "I will get this looked at as a matter of urgency. I will track down who owns the building and get them to take action to make the building safe."

Inspector Lauren Woods, from Derbyshire police, said: “Insecure disused buildings pose a serious risk to anyone who enters them.

“Sites such as this are often in serious states of disrepair and have a number of potential dangers within them.

“Those entering these types of site are leaving themselves vulnerable to serious injury and even death. They are not playgrounds and should not be treated as such.

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“Incidents of this nature are civil matters that are under the jurisdiction of the council they are within and it is the responsibility of the building’s owners to ensure that they are secure.

“If you are concerned about the security of a building then you should make the relevant local authority aware. If, however, there is an ongoing situation that is an emergency then you should contact the police on 999.”

A spokesman for Derby City Council said: “We have had dealings with the property due to damaged windows on Nottingham Road and made the owner aware of his responsibility to secure the site. We would advise anyone with any concerns of trespassing to get in touch with the police on their non-emergency number, 101, in the first instance.”

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