Trespassers 'reach summit of Shard'


Martha Linden,Tom Lawrence
Monday 09 April 2012 11:55

A former student who says he scaled Europe's tallest building has claimed he could do so again “tomorrow” in spite of increased security.

Bradley L Garrett claimed his group of urban "explorers" has climbed the 1016ft (310m) Shard in London "half a dozen" times and could do so again in spite of security being stepped up at the site.

"It is impossible to secure a site that big. The security guards that work on the site are only human, no-one wants to sit there watching cameras 12 hours a day, they are going to have to take breaks, they are going to have to take walks," he said.

"There are going to be times when they are not watching, there are going to be times when they are changing shifts."

But the 31-year-old, from Los Angeles in the US, who completed a PhD on urban exploration in February, said he and his group had "done with" the Shard for now.

"We do not break anything, we do not alter anything, 90% of the time no-one even knows we have been in and out of the place," he added.

Mr Garrett, who lives in Clapham, south-west London, said his group had first scaled the building to watch New Year's Eve fireworks over London in December 2010.

His comments come after pictures apparently showing a group of trespassers posing at the top of the unfinished skyscraper were posted on Mr Garrett's web blog Place Hacking.

The series of night-time images are said to be taken at the summit of the building.

One image shows a man sitting in the cab of a crane at the top of the giant glass skyscraper, which is due to be completed in June, while others show the trespassers climbing ladders running up the side of the towering structure.

A number of aerial views of central London apparently taken from the top of the Shard were also posted.

Describing the moment they reached the top of the skyscraper, Mr Garrett said: "We were so high, I couldn't see anything moving at street level. No buses, no cars, just rows of lights and train lines that looked like converging river systems, a giant urban circuit board."

A spokesman for Sellar Property Group the developer and Mace the main contractor declined to comment on Mr Garrett's claims that it was still possible to scale the building or his claims that the group had climbed up the building "half a dozen" times.

"We believe this is an incident which took place around December 2010 when we were undertaking both ground and structure works," he said.

"The breach was discovered very soon afterwards and security immediately tightened.

"Today security on the site is tight with 14 night-time security guards on duty continuously who cover all areas, as well as 25 CCTV cameras in operation together with a ground floor level laser alarm system."

Scotland Yard said it had not received any complaints about the alleged break-in.

The Shard has become the tallest building in the European Union and the 45th tallest in the world.

It surpassed the previous record-holder for the capital, One Canada Square at Canary Wharf, which stands at 235 metres or 773ft and was completed in 1991.


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