SECURITY guards have been employed to tackle anti-social behaviour at a town centre library.

And this security at Bingley Library is costing taxpayers around £700 a week, a new report has revealed.

A report going to Bradford Council’s Shipley Area Committee on Wednesday evening says the library – based in the Five Rise Shopping Centre – suffers “regular bouts of anti-social behaviour". 

The report looks at the various libraries in the Shipley constituency, as well as the activities that take place at each facility and how many users each one gets a year.

Referring to Bingley Library, the report says: “Bingley Library is well located within the 5 Rise Shopping Centre in the heart of the town.

“In 2022-3 the library served 46,577 visitors and issued 48,565 items.

“Investment as part of the Arts Council England funded Libraries as Locality Hubs project, which enabled a new layout to be created and the purchase of additional furniture and equipment.

“This has enabled the creation of a small meeting room and flexible space which can be opened up to accommodate larger meetings, activities and events. Refreshment facilities for events have also been enhanced.”

But the report adds: “Unfortunately, Bingley Library suffers from regular bouts of anti-social behaviour.

“As a result, the (library) service has had to employ security guards during the year to support and protect staff and customers, at an additional cost to the service.”

The Telegraph & Argus asked Bradford Council for more information about this issue.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “We want all our libraries to be safe spaces for everybody and anti-social behaviour is intimidating for customers and staff who must be a top priority for us.

“We have had security at Bingley Library since August last year due to anti-social behaviour that has been experienced by customers, staff and local councillors.

“The cost is on average £725 per week however this is expected to be for a limited period and we are reviewing whether to continue using security or what other options may be available to us.

“We will continue to look at ways to make sure the library is a safe space for everyone.”

Last year police gave an example of the behaviour at the library. In July 2023 Shipley PCSOs issued an anti-social behaviour warning letter to a juvenile.

A post on the West Yorkshire Police - Shipley Facebook page said: "The youth concerned was responsible for using foul and abusive language to the staff at Bingley Library and refusing to leave when asked."

The report to the Area Committee reveals that the constituency’s busiest library is Shipley which had more than 80,000 visitors in 2022/3. It was Bradford Council’s highest lending library that year with 61,607 loans.

Baildon Library served 12,412 visitors and loaned 7,573 items last year, while Denholme Library, a community-managed library that opens four hours a week, served 981 visitors and loaned 411 items.

Wilsden Library, another community-managed library that opens for seven hours a week, had 1,464 visitors and loaned 259 items.

The Committee meets at 6pm in Shipley Town Hall.