Dunmow’s public disabled facilities under lock and key after drug use and parties in cubicle

Great Dunmow Town Council offices.

Great Dunmow Town Council offices. - Credit: Archant

Dunmow’s only public disabled toilet will soon be under lock and key – after the council called for tighter security following abuse of the facilities.

Illicit parties and drug use have been blamed for the move to limit use of the Town Square facility to those who need it. The issue was voted on by members of Great Dunmow Town Council on Thursday night.

“I am in favour of the scheme,” town and district councillor John Davey told the Broadcast.

“They have had trouble with very young people having parties in there and other unmentionables, but it’s a shame that it’s come to this. It’s a sad reflection of how things are when people are doing drugs and so on in there.”

The introduction of the National Key Scheme (also known as RADAR Scheme) – which comes after complaints from the contracted cleaning company and evidence of drug paraphernalia in the cubicle - means that only people owning a special key will be able to unlock the facilities.

Since the scheme was intorduce in the 70s, it is estimated that more than 7,000 disabled toilets across the country are accessible through the key.

“We are introducing RADAR locks on the town square toilets to deter antisocial behaviour in disabled toilets, which will make toilets nicer for the people who are really going to use them,” town clerk Caroline Fuller said.

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“I want people to be able to have an opportunity to get a key before we introduce it but it should be in place this spring.”

The Natinoal Key Scheme was developed to allow disabled key holders with independent access to the toilets provided them and to increase the chance of them being found in a useable state.

To buy a key, which costs £4.50, or find out more about the scheme, go to crm.disabilityrightsuk.org/radar-nks-key