Youths break into County Durham church and climb roof

EMERGENCY services were called to a church in County Durham last night after youths broke in and had to be rescued. Police were called to St Peter's Church, in Princes Street, Bishop Auckland on Monday following reports of a group of youths inside the historic building. A spokesperson from Durham Police said: "Police were called to reports shortly after 8.30pm last night.

"Officers were assisted by crews from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service to bring a man down safely from the roof. "The premises was then secured following an extensive search."

Witnesses said teenagers were on the roof throwing things below and causing a nuisance. One Princes Street resident said: "There was a lot of commotion last night. Kids broke into the church and then climbed onto the roof.

It's really dangerous and a miracle nobody was hurt. "Something really needs doing about the building it's just waiting to be vandalised - it's already been used as a drugs den this year. "We just really don't want the trouble on the street so hope it will be turned into something or pulled down."

The North East Ambulance Service were also alerted to a number of people on the church roof at 9.15 last night. A spokesperson said the request was cancelled however as they were not needed. County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service sent one truck along with an aerial ladder platform.

A spokesperson said: "We were called by Durham Constabulary at 8:40pm yesterday evening to assist in the rescue of a male from St Peter's Church roof, on Princes Street in Bishop Auckland." "In conjunction with the police, a plan was put in place to bring the man to the ground safely and thankfully with no injuries. We left the scene at 10:28pm."

It is not the first time the church has been broken into as it was the base of a cannabis operation earlier this year. Youths break into County Durham church and climb roof In May, police discovered 1,200 cannabis plants inside the church as well as men in the process of moving them out.

Police officers raided the site following a tip off. At the time, Inspector Peter Lonsdale said: "We will always do everything we can to disrupt the chain of illegal drugs and that's exactly what we did." Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here. For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here. Have you got a story for us?

Contact our newsdesk on [email protected] or contact 01325 505054