Don’t swim in open water - police warning

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File picture

The parents of 40 children caught swimming in a lock are to be contacted after police discovered that emergency equipment had been tampered with.

Officers in East Northamptonshire went to the Higham Ferrers Lock yesterday (Thursday) and discovered around 40 youngsters playing there. Many ran off but officers did manage to speak to some of them and took their details.

They will now contact their parents and have issued a warning to people not to swim in rivers or locals and not to play with safety equipment provided for emergencies.

Sergeant Andy Maher from the East Northants Safer Community Team said: “It was clear to the officers that the emergency lifebelt had been used. If this was used in an emergency then that is, of course, fine but if people have been playing with them then other people’s lives could be put at risk.

“Swimming is prohibited in these areas and I would urge parents, carers and guardians of children to question them if they come home with wet clothes to establish what they have been up to.

“The Environment Agency and Northamptonshire Police can patrol these sites to ensure the safety equipment is present and educate people who are swimming in the area and using this equipment.”

Two life rings near the locks at Higham were destroyed by fire last week and police would still like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed these incidents.