Peak District loos could close after spate of break-ins

It is one of the most picturesque spots in which to spend a penny, but it might not be for much longer.

Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 4:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 6:19 pm

A spate of break-ins at the Dovedale public toilets in the Peak District has put them at risk of closure, managers of the national park have warned.

The loos at the popular Dovedale car park, between Ilam and Thorpe, were recently targeted for the fourth time this year.

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Dovedale in the Peak District (pic: Tom Maddick)

The Peak District National Park Authority said the crime wave is estimated to have cost it more than £3,000 so far this year.

It has warned that thefts and criminal damage to the toilets could make them unviable to operate.

A spokeswoman for the authority 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 authority said there was a small charge for use of the toilets, due to the high level of demand and the associated maintenance expenses.

Money is collected regularly, meaning there is usually no or very little cash on site, but this has failed to deter thieves from targeting the loos.

The authority, which has shared CCTV footage of the latest break-in with Staffordshire Police, estimates that the toilets cost around £17,000 a year to operate.

Anyone with information about crime at the Dovedale toilets is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, confidentially, on 0800 555 111.