Perth youngsters have been warned they are putting their lives at risk amid reports of vandalism to life-saving equipment and youths “larking around” by the rivers edge.
Eric Drysdale, SNP councillor for Perth City Centre, raised his concerns with police after receiving reports of damage to life buoys and kids playing on the banks of the River Tay at North Muirton.
Mr Dysdale called the incidents “criminally irresponsible” and “just plain stupid”.
Speaking at the housing and communities meeting this week, Mr Drysdale told local officers he was made aware of the incidents by the local community.
He said: “There has been vandalism to life-saving equipment on the riverside and indeed youths playing around at the waters edge, or larking around, which is obviously a very dangerous thing to do.
“I just wonder, as we approach the summer season, what message would you like to put to the community about behaviour around the river.”
Local area commander, Ian Scott, told Mr Drysdale that his officers were working with different organisations to promote water safety.
Chief Inspector Scott said: “Tragically over the years we’ve had our fair share of incidents that have involved fatal loss of life, young people makes it particularly tragic.
“Work has been done, and is ongoing, and whenever those safety lines are damaged we look to replace them as soon as possible. We’re always looking for feedback in.
“What we are doing, and have been doing, is having patrols in those areas and encourage children and young people to engage, do it safely, avoid alcohol and understand that even when it is hot there are still undercurrents and the water is still freezing.”
After the meeting Mr Drysdale told The Courier he was glad that officers were carrying out cycling patrols in the area but reiterated his concerns over the incidents.
He said: “Damaging life-saving equipment is so irresponsible it’s not true and needs to be put a stop too
“And then we have these incidents of youths larking around in the river, which isn’t very sensible.
“I just wanted to flag up at this time of year with the warmer weather the serious risks people are taking by going in the river.
“So it’s two separate incidents – one of them is criminally irresponsible and one is just plain stupid.”