Security measures are being tightened at a city bin depot after “extremely dangerous” weapons were discovered on site.

An independent security organisation searched Cityclean’s Hollingdean depot in Brighton after concerns from a number of employees that weapons were being stored there.

Knives, hammers, metal bars and large blocks of wood were uncovered during the search.

Rachel Chasseaud, assistant director at Cityclean, told employees in a letter this week that all items were given to the police.

“During the search, some extremely dangerous weapons, such as long knives, were found which were immediately removed and handed to the police,” she said.

“We realise this will be of great concern to you and I want to reassure you that our main concern is the safety of everyone at the depot and ensuring we have a place of work that is safe and secure.

The Argus: All items were given to the policeAll items were given to the police (Image: Andrew Gardner/The Argus)

“In light of the weapons find, and for everyone’s safety, we also felt it necessary to search the depot and lorries and found many items – some of which could be described as tools and some as weapons.”

Lorry drivers told Ms Chasseaud that hammers are used to loosen the wheels of the city’s communal recycling bins when they have become stuck.

She said: “These items are kept loosely in the vehicles so going forward we’ll be working with drivers and crews on developing a proper toolbox with appropriate tools that can be stored safely in the lorry.

“As extra safety precautions, we’ll be ensuring we search the whole depot to ensure no weapons remain or are brought on site.

“It’s vital staff do not bring or store anything on site, including in your locker, that could be considered or used as a weapon. This includes any tools not issued for you to use as part of your job, and such items as knives, metals bars or length of wood.”

Responding to the discoveries, city council leader Bella Sankey said she wants to ensure depot staff are safe at work.

“We have been clear from the start of this process that we will be honest and open about the whistleblowing investigation and we therefore wanted to ensure staff knew weapons had been found and that we are taking every measure possible to ensure their safety, including heightened security at the depot and further searches," she said.

“We cannot say more at present as this is an ongoing internal investigation."

The discoveries form part of a report by Aileen McColgan KC which found racism, sexism and homophobia were routine occurrences at the Hollingdean depot.

The Argus: 70 whistleblowers gave evidence to the report70 whistleblowers gave evidence to the report (Image: Andrew Gardner/The Argus)

Ms McColgan said in the report: “One witness spoke of a culture of racism, homophobia and sexism and told me that a group of loaders (bin collectors) ‘catfished’ gay staff on Grindr.

“A number of witnesses expressed concern about racism at the depot. I heard a number of Cityclean staff had been subject to racist name calling by their colleagues and that a truck had been regularly defaced with racist graffiti while parked in the depot.”

READ MORE: Brighton: Council bin depot faces racism and sexism scandal

Staff were also told that they did not need to attend mandatory diversity training while one worker who identified as gay was shunned with workers refusing to work with him because of his sexuality.

More than 70 whistleblowers gave evidence for the report with interviews conducted on the promise of secrecy due to fear of retaliation.

The full report is expected to be published next week.