Lives are being put at risk by people who tamper with emergency equipment placed at ponds and waterways around the county.
The council’s Grounds Maintenance team has noticed a growing number of life buoys and life lines being removed from their holders and thrown in to the water where they are out of reach, or missing altogether.
They are now looking at various options to make the equipment harder to tamper with, but say the ultimate responsibility lies with those that are putting others at risk by their actions.
Head of Property Services, Phil Lumley, said: “We carry put regular checks along all our waterways, which include ponds and lakes, and we are concerned at the number of life-saving equipment being removed.
“With the warmer weather and lighter nights, we know that people are enjoying the local scenery. That means there will be more people spending time by lakes and ponds – we cannot stress how important it is that there is life-saving equipment available in the case of emergencies.
“They are not there to play with, or to retrieve balls from water, they are there to save lives.
“We are looking at ways of making it more difficult to tamper with the equipment, but for obvious reasons, they must be easy to access – this does present us with some problems.”
The council wishes to remind people of the obvious dangers of playing near water and would appeal to them – and to parents – to find somewhere safer to play.
Executive Board Member for Property Services, Cllr Colin Evans, said: “I’d appeal to everyone’s better judgement – there may come a day when you need this to save the life of someone you love.
“Please let us know if you’ve noticed any missing or damaged life-saving equipment, and also if you see anyone tampering with the equipment.”
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