Security guards won’t be used to patrol Hilsea Lido

Hilsea Lido
Hilsea Lido
Morning weather and travel

Morning weather and travel

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THE owners of Hilsea Lido have ruled out hiring security guards to stamp out unruly behaviour.

It comes after another incident on Tuesday evening where disruptive adults and children led to the pool closing early.

Helen Downing-Emms, vice-chairwoman of the trust in charge, said a small group of people disobeyed orders not to jump into the deepest part of the pool as there weren’t enough lifeguards on duty.

They then got aggressive and abusive towards staff before leaving after police and community wardens were made aware of the situation.

Mrs Downing-Emms said: ‘We asked them to leave – they refused to do so.

‘They also threatened me and one of the lifeguards and abused us.

‘We had to make the decision then that the area was not safe with these people around so we asked everybody to leave.’

As previously reported, the lido reopened at the weekend for the first time in six years, but the misbehaviour of some young swimmers resulted in a ban on all children being there unless they are with a responsible adult.

Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt had suggested security guards could be drafted in to keep swimmers in check.

And he has written to Paul Fielding, the city council’s assistant head of environment and recreation, to see how the authority can help.

Cllr Hunt wrote: ‘Before it was closed, even the professional staff there were plagued with anti-social behaviour and crime.’

‘Will you please enquire with Sabrina Richards at the lido to see if she and her volunteers are okay and if they need any help and is so what help the council can lend.’

But Mrs Downing-Emms said guards would destroy the family-friendly atmosphere and the best solution would be a system where children show ID and sign a code of conduct.

‘The police and community wardens have said to us “don’t get security guards that is not the answer unless you absolutely feel you want to” and we have said no, that is not coming here,’ she said.

‘It is a family-friendly environment.’ The lido is open as normal from 4pm to 8pm, but only two children per adult are allowed for the time being.