NCP will not make changes to a multi-storey car park in Worthing town centre – despite people threatening to jump off it three times in less than a week.
Chatsworth Road was closed for more than two hours on Thursday, January 20, before a man threatening to jump off the roof of the stairwell at the top of the High Street car park could finally be coaxed down by police.
Firefighters and paramedics were standing by on the ground throughout the incident, while police teams stopped pedestrians from walking in the area and redirected people returning to their cars to leave one-way Chatsworth Road by driving the wrong way along it.
The following day, a woman threatened to jump from the top level of the car park, but came down within 10 minutes.
Then, on Monday, January 24 a man who was thought to be the same person as on Thursday, was again on the top of the stairwell, this time for nearly four hours, before he eventually came down.
Chatsworth Road had to be closed for the duration the man was there and police, firefighters and paramedics were again on standby the whole time.
Despite the high number of incidents in a five-day period, Michelle McCarthy, spokeswoman for NCP, said the car park met the recommended safety requirements.
She said: “NCP is aware that in the last few days we have had two people attempt to jump from our car park in separate incidents.
“Each time, NCP has worked closely with the police to help them resolve the situation.
“NCP also works closely with Worthing Borough Council to ensure that correct procedures are followed in all our car parks, and the railings that are provided in our car parks meet all advised safety requirements.
“On top of all of our multi-storey car parks, we have contact details for the Samaritans and other help groups, and each staff team has people who have attended suicide awareness training.”
A spokeswoman for Samaritans said the cuts to public services, combined with the new year, could mean people were feeling the strain.
She said: “People are under a lot of stress at the moment and, with cuts being made, it all adds to the burden.
“We would urge anybody who is feeling under stress or suicidal to get in touch, either by phoning our centre, going on our website or visiting in person.”
The Samaritans centre, in Lennox Road, Worthing, is open between 9am and 9pm. Telephone 01903 205555.
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