Slough Council 'appalled' after life rings vandalised

Slough Borough Council (SBC) has said it is ‘appalled’ by the ‘thoughtless vandalism and removal’ of life rings in the area as it urges people to leave them alone.

The council made the statement after reports of people removing life rings near water and throwing them elsewhere.

In some cases, the rings have been found downstream and in others, not been found at all. 

The incidents are occurring around the area, including one by Michael’s Bridge in Datchet and the other by the Jubilee Riverside Centre, along the Slough stretch of the river.

In a Twitter post on Monday, SBC said: “On world drowning prevention day it is especially sad to see that life rings have been removed and vandalised over the weekend.

“If it's not an emergency, please leave them alone. This could mean the difference between life and death for someone in trouble in the water.”

A spokeswoman for SBC added that the council cannot explain why ‘anyone would think it is normal behaviour to vandalise or damage equipment’ that is designed to save lives, adding that ‘it’s a selfish act with real consequences’.

“The council is part of the Jubilee River Water Safety Partnership with Thames Valley Police, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Environment Agency," she said. 

“We are all appalled at the thoughtless vandalism and removal of these life rings. They could be the difference between life and death for someone in trouble in the water.

“We ask residents to leave these important life-saving devices alone, unless it’s an emergency.

“There will be patrols throughout the summer and any vandalism should be reported to the police non-emergency number [101]. 

“The Environment Agency replaced the life rings that were removed and secured the cases.

“It’s so important to be water aware, especially with recent tragedies in the local area and nationally.

“Please educate your children on the risks of both open water and vandalism of life-saving equipment, and if anyone is in trouble in the water, tell them to float on their back, while you call for help.”

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