Police patrols vow for danger quarry

Youths have ignored safety warnings concerning Appley Bridge Quarry for years
Youths have ignored safety warnings concerning Appley Bridge Quarry for years

Extra police patrols have been pledged this weekend for a quarry near Wigan as temperatures continue to soar.

Neighbours of Appley Bridge Quarry fear another fatality could be looming as swimmers descend on the beauty spot from around the north west.

Community police covering the rural area say they have been working closely with the owners of the private venue, off Appley Lane North.

But trespassers have continued to cut security fencing at a number of access points around the quarry, just as quickly as the owners can shore up any gaps.

Local councillor Pam Baybutt blasted parents who have turned up with young children, for a day out, and people have even been spotted taking their own boats and inflatables down there.

Repeated warnings have been issued to swimmers using open-air locations, like the quarry, in the wake of the death of Miracle Godson there in 2015.

The promising young player drowned, after getting into difficulties in the icy water, prompting his mother Godson Anumba to back calls for swimmers to stay away.

Sgt Darren Carr, of the Skelmersdale Rural policing unit, said: “Our neighbourhood team will have increased patrols there this weekend

“We are again expecting this weekend to be very busy and we will be working with the owners to deter people from attending the quarry.

Police community support officer Andy Holderness has been commended by residents for his ongoing efforts to warn off new arrivals but neighbours had called for additional resources to be deployed.

The PCSO and his colleagues have also been attempting to meet would-be swimmers as they arrive at Appley Bridge Station, or visit via local bus routes.

People living nearby have established a Facebook campaign group after cars swamped access lanes to the quarry. Members of Appley Bridge Community Association have echoed their safety worries.

Foul-mouthed swimmers, who have confronted locals after asking for directions to the waters, have been condemned, and concerns have been expressed over the volume of litter left nearby.

A campaign spokesman said: “I’ve had confirmation from the area sergeant that extra staff will be deployed this weekend and that the quarry owners is repairing the fence daily.

“However on Sunday we saw two men who were openly walking away from the quarry, with a car jack, telling the kids that they had opened the fence.”

An earlier incident even saw at least two local properties damaged by missiles fired from a flare gun, brought along by one out-of-control party.

Swimmers have also been regularly challenged after taking shortcuts through neighbouring gardens.