A LIBRARY was forced to employ a security guard after yobs began targeting it during the summer holidays.

Corringham Library suffered when youngsters started going inside on scooters, threatening staff and damaging property.

Security staff left after pupils went back to school, but Danni Tate, chairman of Corringham Community Forum, fears the same harassment could happen again at every half-term and school holiday.

Ms Tate said: “It’s a library where people go for peace and quiet.

“Now the kids are back at school, the crime rate drops, but we’ve got half-term coming up, so what happens then?

“I’ve heard people won’t go into the library now.”

Ms Tate said during the height of the trouble, library staff were forced to barricade the doors to prevent abusive youths going inside.

The library, in St John’s Way, underwent a £450,000 refurbishment in 2009.

Corringham and Fobbing councillor Mark Coxshall said: “They have had a security guard outside Corringham Library throughout the summer and outside other libraries in the district.

“There are a minority of young people causing problems across Corringham, so the problem is not indicative of libraries, but of the antisocial behaviour of some young people in the town.”

A spokesman for Thurrock Council confirmed security staff had been hired and said a guard would still be at the library on Tuesdays.

The spokesman added: “Corringham Library was not alone in having security over the summer holiday period.

“Experience has shown several libraries face antisocial behaviour issues during the school break and one person was employed to travel between libraries this summer.

“Regular visits from police and police community support officers also helped maintain security.”