A doctors’ surgery has been forced to install barbed wire around its building to stop youths ‘playing football’ on the roof.
Staff at Highlands Surgery in Ashton claim that young people scaling the property have also tried to ‘tamper’ with the building’s air conditioning.
They have now applied to Tameside Council for retrospective planning permission for barbed wire to protect the practice from anti-social behaviour and to make it secure.
Reports submitted to the town hall add that the GP surgery has also been hit by four break-ins in just two years.
The barbed wire has been in place since August.
The application form submitted by business support manager Alex Jones states: “The purpose of the installation was to stop youths climbing onto the roof and playing football.
“This is obviously very dangerous and they do it on a regular basis.
“The youths have also tried to tamper with the air conditioning unit on more than one occasion.
“The air conditioning unit is also an access point into the building.”
She added that the incidents have been reported to police on ‘numerous occasions’ but the proximity of the surgery to a ‘youth offenders home’ means the problem is ‘ongoing’.
“These are major health and safety concerns that we needed to address,” she adds.
“Another factor to consider is that the surgery has been broken into four times in the last two years and the chemist located on the premises has been broken into twice.
“As medication is stored on the premises, one enormous risk is that youths could access this medication and cause harm to themselves or others.
“The only way to stop these incidents was to put security measures in place.
“After looking at a couple of alternatives; barbed wire around the perimeter was the best deterrent.
“Should the worst happen and we don’t have our wire protection, who is to be held accountable?”
The surgery has around 8,000 registered patients from a catchment area of Audenshaw, Ashton and Dukinfield.
According to plans submitted to the town hall, the barbed wire surrounds the flat areas of the roof of the surgery, around 20 metres in total.
The building plans show that the flat roof at the back of the building and around the main entrance covers the main waiting room, children’s play area, reception and pharmacy.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Ms Jones added: “We’ve no idea why they go up there, it’s happened quite a few times.
“It’s a safety concern for them if they climb up there and fall off and hurt themselves, and there is access to the building as well up there, it’s just another way to break in.
“Without having a police presence outside the building you can’t really stop them.
“We needed something around the roof to stop them getting up, and eliminate the risks. It’s a deterrent at the end of the day.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed we can keep it.”
Since installing the wire in the summer, she added they have had no further problems.
A decision is expected to be made by the planning department on whether the barbed wire can stay by mid-November.