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Visitors "greatly let down" by park security

In the News
Saturday, 23rd February 2008 By Dan Ketteringham

A judge has criticised Alton Towers' level of security after a man admitted to a spate of thefts there.

Twenty-one year old Daniel Cooper, a qualified scaffolder, pleaded guilty to taking nine bags from security cages at the park. He told police he kept mobile phones and money from them, before dumping the bags in the park grounds - none of which have since been recovered.

District Judge Graham Richards said that visitors were let down by Alton Towers, and added that from the high level of thefts, the park should have realised there was a problem.

"Customers were greatly let down by Alton Towers who must have known what was going on," he said, sentencing Cooper to 224 days in prison.

Defence solicitor Peter Howland, representing Mr Cooper, said: "There should have been better security at the theme park, although my client should not have stolen things."

Inspector Mark Rigby, commander of the Moorlands East Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said that he hoped the ruling would send a message out to people who see Alton Towers as a target for crime. He added that the case should offer reassurance for families and visitors to the park that this type of offence was taken seriously by the courts.

Alton Towers responded to the judge's comments by saying they were confident their levels of security were adequate. "We do everything we can to ensure a safe and secure environment for our guests," a spokesman said. "We provide lockers in our main guest services office and we encourage guests not to bring large bags etc. to the park. We recommend bum bags which can then be worn on all the rides.

"We are confident the level of our security is entirely appropriate for a family resort such as ours."

Source: The Sentinel


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