Wakefield Library user barred for accessing 'inappropriate content' online

The Wakefield One building, where Wakefield Library is based.
The Wakefield One building, where Wakefield Library is based.

A library user was banned after accessing "inappropriate content" on public computers.

They were one of 13 people who've been barred from entering Wakefield Library in the last six-and-a-half years.

One person was banned from Wakefield Library for damaging property.

One person was banned from Wakefield Library for damaging property.

The results of a Freedom of Information request to Wakefield Council revealed that another library user was banned from the venue for refusing to leave during an emergency evacuation.

Another was told not to return after behaving in a "drunk and disorderly" manner, while another was given an indefinite ban for damaging property.

Since the start of 2013, others have been barred for using offensive language, behaving "indecently" and acting in a "threatening manner".

The FOI results showed that a total of 28 people had been barred from libraries across the rest of the Wakefield district during the same timeframe.

The majority of incidents related to language or behaviour that was deemed to be inappropriate or threatening, though two people were banned from one venue for what was branded "offensive sexual behaviour".

One person was barred from Sandal Library for harassment, while another was banned from another of the district's libraries for making a "suggestive comment with physical contact".

A book borrower who "obstructed a library officer in the execution of his duty" was among nine people to have been barred from Castleford Library.

Another was banned from the Castleford venue for a physical attack, coupled with abusive language.

Of five bans issued by Pontefract Library, one was for an assault, though it is not clear whether this was against another library user or a member of staff.

Julie Russell, Wakefield Council’s service director for arts, culture and leisure, said: "Whenever the council receives a complaint about a customer’s behaviour, either through staff or the general public, we review the evidence and make a decision based on that evidence of any potential action.

"This sometimes results in a warning letter to the individual involved but for serious or repeated instances of inappropriate behaviour this can result in a temporary ban from libraries."

By numbers (bans issued by Wakefield libraries since 2013)

Airedale - 2

Castleford - 9

Featherstone - 1

Horbury - 1

Knottingley - 2

Normanton - 3

Pontefract - 5

Sandal - 1

South Elmsall - 2

Stanley - 2

Wakefield - 13

By numbers (reasons why people were barred)

Offensive, insulting or threatening language/being verbally abusive - 16

Offensive sexual behaviour - 2

Physical attacks - 2

Damage of library property - 1

Harassment - 1

Offensive language and accessing inappropriate content on public computers - 1

Refusing to leave building during emergency evacuation - 1

Being drunk and disorderly - 1

Local Democracy Reporting Service