Police step up patrols and urge people to show 'respect' after vandalism at Creswell Crags
Police have stepped up patrols at Creswell Crags after a spate of vandalism at the visitor attraction during lockdown.
Creswell Heritage Trust, which oversees the Crags, admitted it was ‘painful’ to discover vandals had targeted the world famous heritage location last month.
Derbyshire police launched an investigation and the force’s Rural Crime Team has now carried out patrols with officers from the Creswell area.
They urged people visiting the site for exercise during lockdown to show ‘respect’.
A spokesperson for Derbyshire Rural Crime Team said: “We spent a few hours this morning working with an officer from Creswell safer neighbourhood team, part of Bolsover and Clowne Police SNT.
"We spent the time patrolling Creswell Crags Museum and Prehistoric Gorge. It was nice to stop and speak to local residents using the site for daily exercise.
"The site is an Ancient Scheduled Monument and is a protected site by law. Also a lot of the land around it is SSSI (site of special scientific interest).
"If you use the site please respect it and the surrounding areas.”
Officers released pictures of the damage caused by people starting fires at the Crags in January.
The trust said it was ‘especially difficult’ to see the vandalism during the national coronavirus lockdown when staff are only visiting the site for essential safety and maintenance reasons.
A spokesperson for the trust said: “We are very grateful to Derbyshire Constabulary for their support, both investigating this incident and helping protect our important heritage site from any further vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
"Creswell Crags is of international importance as an archaeological site, but it is also loved by the local community and it is painful to see any damage done, however small.
The trust has again reminded potential visitors that all facilities at Creswell Crags are closed during the lockdown.
"Visitors can still walk around the gorge via the public footpaths, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, but people should not be driving to the site,” the spokesperson said.
Creswell Crags, home to the UK’s oldest Ice Age cave art and a £7million visitor centre opened in 2009, recently launched a series of online talks.
For more information, visit the website.