Police have stepped up patrols around the former St Joseph’s Orphanage on Mount Street after a series of break-ins.Advertisement
Several reports have been made of groups of up to 20 young people entering the building and smashing glass.
The building, which became a hospital before being closed down, stands derelict and police say it is a dangerous environment.
PCSO Stephen Connolly from City Centre said: “I can’t stress enough how dangerous this site, or any other derelict site, can be, especially following a large fire a couple years ago.
“Youngsters gathering in the building face injuring themselves. I would urge people to steer clear of this site as there could be serious consequences.
“I’d also ask parents to be aware of where their children are and to help us by reinforcing the message about the dangers of playing on sites like these.”
The most recent incident took place on April 10 when a member of the public said 20 youths had entered the building and smashed glass.
Neighbourhood officers visited the area and moved youths on, but officers say they are continuing to use the site for shelter despite warnings from police.
Councillor John Swindells Deputy Leader of Preston Council added: “This is a risk simply not worth taking. The building is derelict and full of potential hazards. Avoid the building and avoid the risk.
“We would appeal to young people and their parents to heed the Police’s advice and stay away. It’s not a playground and we would not want anyone to get injured or worse by messing about in this or any derelict building.”
Police are urging members of the public to be vigilant and to call Lancashire Police on 10 1if anyone is seen inside the building.