Comment - Shocking crimes in libraries

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OUR libraries are supposed to be peaceful places of learning and contemplation.

Most of us will remember being told to be quiet as we entered our local branch as a child – and the fear of the librarian behind the counter.

So it is surprising to see that more than 150 unruly children – some of them as young as 12 – have been removed and banned from libraries and leisure centres across the borough in the last two years.

However, it is not the number of bans in place, but the nature of the behaviour which prompted them which is so shocking.

Fighting, swearing, stealing computers, verbal abuse, racist comments and accessing pornographic content via library computers are some of the offences reported.

But surely the worst has to be an attempt to set fire to a member of staff.

These are truly shocking incidents – all the worse for the fact that they happened inside what should be a haven for the entire community.

Let us hope that we do not see any repeats in 2012.