Man arrested after hiding under floorboards for EIGHT hours at derelict Blackpool care home

A man found hiding under floorboards at a derelict Blackpool care home was arrested on suspicion of stealing lead from the building after refusing to come out for nearly eight hours.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 9:54 am
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 3:58 pm
Police and fire services were called to the incident on Clifton Drive.

The incident happened at Amber Banks Care Home on Clifton Drive after police were called to the address at 3 am following reports of a burglary.

The suspect is believed to hid in the floorboards when officers arrived at the scene but the 51-year-old man refused to give himself up.

It sparked an emergency incident which involved the fire service assisting the police. Three urban search and rescue vehicles were brought to the scene.

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Police and fire services were called to the incident on Clifton Drive.

The man, believed to be from Preston, finally emerged at 10.30am and was arrested on suspicion of burglary.

This comes a day after Blackpool Council inspected the building to make sure it was secure.

Clare Dunn, 53, owner of The Royal Hotel which is opposite the care home says there has been problems with people stealing from the building for a while.

She said: “My son saw two men going into the care home on yesterday at around 3.40pm and never saw them coming out. Then a friend of ours rang the police after they saw someone breaking in at 2.30am.”

The care home has been closed for more than two years.

“It has been empty for over two years and we started notice people were breaking in after the curtains started to be closed. We have boarded up a few of the windows but people are still breaking in.”

A Blackpool Council spokesperson said: “Over the last week we have visited more than 100 problematic empty properties along with the Police. It is a high priority for the council as we know how much it can impact on local residents.

“We visited the former Amber Banks care home yesterday (Thursday) with a view to ensuring it was secure. However, when we arrived the rear of the property had already been boarded up and the front was secure. We will visit once again to see if any additional security is needed.”

Coun Derek Robertson, whose Waterloo ward the hotel falls into says the building should be boarded up.

The fire service had brought search and rescue dogs to the incident.

He said: “Maybe this incident will mean the building can be now boarded up to stop people breaking in.”

Coun David O’Hara agreed with his ward colleague the building should be made secure.

He said: “I am not sure who owns the building but it shouldn’t be left unsecure. We have had problems with abandoned hotels in the past. Perhaps the council maybe able to make sure it is secured soon.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “We responded to reports of a burglary at a care home on Clifton Drive shortly after 3 am. When we attended the incident we have discovered a man underneath the floorboards. We asked for Lancashire Fire and Rescue service to assist in removing the man safely.”

Fire officers appeared to be completing an action plan.

A spokesman from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “It was a police incident and we assisted in freeing the man.”