Vandals stealing water safety aids put lives at risk

WATERSIDE vandals are persistently putting lives at risk after more than 70 rescue aids were stolen from their posts in the Marina and River Tawe area in just seven months.

Swansea Council’s water safety team inspect the sites every fortnight and they’re praising local residents who routinely report the thefts.

But anti-social activity is resulting in aids being stolen or needlessly thrown in the water, putting other people at risk. The council’s water safety team has had to replace the equipment 76 times this year so far.

Andrew Stevens, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure, urged residents to continue to report incidents and anyone they spot tampering with the aids to the police.

He said:

“It’s a criminal offence to tamper with rescue aids and we check CCTV to see if we can identify those responsible. Any evidence will be immediately forwarded to the police for prosecution.

“This kind of vandalism is not fun, it’s not a victimless crime and it really can put people’s lives at risk. Our water safety team replaces these life-saving aids within 24 hours of them being reported, but we’d urge those responsible for this utterly pointless behaviour to simply stop.

“South Wales Police and ourselves are stepping up our checks and patrols to deter this kind of behaviour and to replace any missing or damaged equipment.”

Andrew Suter, Swansea Council’s Water Safety manager said the water safety team has a rigorous approach to checking rescue aids in the Marina area and along the Tawe to help keep people safe.

He said the council has joined with other emergency services to promote the summer-long Respect the Water campaign which has a website here:

He added:

“Residents can be our eyes and ears so if you see suspicious activity around rescue aids, spot that one has been tampered with or is missing altogether, please report it to us as soon as you can. Don’t leave it to someone else.”

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