VANDALS and thieves who target lifebelts at Hemsworth Water Park could have a death on their consciences, a town councillor has warned.
Hemsworth Town Council chairman Coun Tony Upson said several of the lifebelts had gone missing or been vandalised in the past few weeks.
And he fears that should the safety devices be missing when they are needed, there could be tragic consequences.
Coun Upson said: “We have had deaths at the Water Park before and we never want to see that again.
“I would like to appeal directly to the people who are doing this. It may just be a bit of fun for you but should something happen when a lifebelt is missing it will remain on your conscience forever.”
Last summer there was a spate of the lifebelts going missing or being burnt. It cost the town council around £800 to replace them.
But Coun Upson said his concern was not about the money.
He said: “It is a very dangerous situation. The money is important, but not nearly as important than what could happen if someone got into trouble on the water and the lifebelts were not there.”
Inspector Jackie Turton, of South East neighbourhood policing team, said: “We have had reports of lifebelts going missing, one of which has been found. Removing lifebelts is dangerous - they are there to save people’s lives. We would appeal to anyone with information in relation to this to contact police.”
Anyone with information should contact the NPT on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.