Queensgate put in application to help prevent car park suicides

Queensgate Shopping Centre car park in Peterborough city centre.
Queensgate Shopping Centre car park in Peterborough city centre.
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Urgent action is to be taken to prevent people falling from the multi-storey car parks near Peterborough’s Queensgate shopping centre.

The move to install stainless steel wire meshing on the rooftops at the centre’s multi-storey car parks has been welcomed by officers at Peterborough City Council.

The application for security meshing and banners was submitted to the council by Oliver Yeats, planner at Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners.

In a report to the council, he states: “The multi-storey car parks have been subject to several unfortunate incidents over recent years whereby members of the public have used the openings to throw themselves off the building causing themselves severe harm or death.

“The proposed webnet meshing on the multi-storey car parks is required to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

“The owners have an obligation to make sure that appropriate security measures such as this are put in place to safeguard the health and safety of members of the public.

“These proposals have been discussed with the council and this application is now a matter of urgency to protect public safety.

“The meshing will have no impact on the use of the car parking areas.”

The shopping centre has four car parks - Green (Clare), Blue (Cavell), Red (Royce) and Yellow (Perkins) and the application will be considered soon.

Dr Henrietta Ewart, director of public health at the council, said: “We welcome the planning application which has been submitted by Queensgate’s management company.

“Evidence shows that making it harder for people to jump from locations such as this leads to fewer people taking their own life.

In addition to the planning application, a new report was released last week on how to prevent suicides in the region.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Suicide Prevention Strategy was produced by the council’s consultant in public health, Katharine Hartley.

The strategy lists six priority areas in order to prevent suicide.

These include improving mental health in specific groups and reducing access to the means of suicide.

In Peterborough, there are approximately 15 to 20 suicides each year.

The report is the local response to a government publication entitled ‘Preventing suicide in England’.

The document is an action plan and will run from 2014 to 2017.

Dr Ewart added: “We will continue to do all that we can to support people who may be struggling with suicidal feelings.

“I encourage people to get involved in the Stop Suicide campaign to find out more about those who may be at risk.

“With our fast-paced busy lives it is important we reach out to those who may be struggling and encourage them to get help when they need it.”