FULL STATEMENT: Priory Centre defend decision to close ‘gay sex and drugs den’ toilets

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Priory Shopping Centre bosses have defended their decision to close the centre’s customer toilets after they were outed as a ‘gay sex and drugs den’.

A trusted source told the Guardian that the toilets, located in the shopping centre’s car park, were being used as a place for addicts to inject heroin before they were shut down last month.

Research carried out by this newspaper revealed that the toilets were also listed on the internet as a popular location for gay men to meet and engage in sexual activity.

A spokesperson for the centre said: “Unfortunately, due to ongoing problems and antisocial behaviour, we have been forced to temporarily close the toilets at the Priory Shopping Centre.”

“When the problems first began we worked alongside Bassetlaw council to try to find alternative practical solutions to resolve the situation but unfortunately we were unable to find a resolution. We continue to explore options as we appreciate the inconvenience that this may cause.”

“We were forced to make this decision following a continued series of events beyond our control that saw the toilets being misused and antisocial behaviour regularly occurring. This had potential to effect the safety of our shoppers. We are obviously not willing to put our shoppers at risk, and do everything in our power to make a visit to the Priory an enjoyable one, so have put this measure into place to protect them.”

“We have tried our up most to avoid closing the facilities but it seems to be the best way to proceed for the safety of our shoppers – which remains paramount to all our decisions.”

Due to the closure, customers are now being advised to use council-operated toilets on Bridge Street, but this is proving a difficulty for some shoppers- particularly those who are elderly or disabled.

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