Toilets in Horsefair Shopping Centre permanently closed due to anti-social behaviour

Toilets in Horsefair Shopping Centre permanently closed due to anti-social behaviour. Picture: ARCHANT.

Toilets in Horsefair Shopping Centre permanently closed due to anti-social behaviour. Picture: ARCHANT.

Archant

An increase in anti-social behaviour has led to the permanent closure of toilets at the Horsefair Shopping Centre in Wisbech for the "safety of shoppers".

Toilets in Horsefair Shopping Centre permanently closed due to anti-social behaviour. Councillor Alan Lay and Councillor Paul Clapp opening the Horse Fair Toilets Wisbech. ARCHANT.Toilets in Horsefair Shopping Centre permanently closed due to anti-social behaviour. Councillor Alan Lay and Councillor Paul Clapp opening the Horse Fair Toilets Wisbech. ARCHANT.

Bosses say that despite regular inspections there has been “numerous misuse incidents” and the toilets will be closed with immediate effect to “protect shoppers and their families”.

It comes as the toilets have been a target for anti-social behaviour in recent years, with several closures.

Kevin Smith, centre manager, said: “We regularly inspect the toilets and keep them clean and safe.

“Over recent months there has been an increase in serious anti-social behaviour by a small number of people after these cleaning processes.

“We have a clear responsibility for the safety of shoppers, our cleaners and other people using these facilities and have come to the difficult conclusion that they must be permanently closed.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause to responsible users.”

The nearest public toilets which visitors to the shopping centre can use are situated in St Peter’s car park.

The toilets were also closed at the start of last year because of “ongoing and unacceptable antisocial behaviour and misuse of the facilities”, and were reopened in August.

They had previously been closed for a year between 2013/14 and upgraded.

In 2013, bosses suggested that the toilets work under a pay-on-entry system

Speaking at the time, an official said that the level of anti-social activities that were taking place after being checked was “worrying”.

For more information visit www.horsefairshoppingcentre.co.uk

The toilet closure comes as Cambridgeshire MEP Alex Mayer called for free sanitary products in all public loos today (January 15).

As MEPs again praised the end of the “tampon tax” - meaning sanitary products can be zero VAT rated - Ms Mayer said it was time to take a dramatic step further.

She said: “No one questions the cost of toilet roll in public loos or suggests everyone should carry one around with them just in case.

“Just like loo roll I’m not suggesting well known brands just a supply of basic pads and tampons.”

The Euro MP believes the move would help stamp out period poverty and period stigma.

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