South Yorkshire MP calls for law change to save lives following tragic death of boy at reservoir
A South Yorkshire MP has called for a change in the law to make it an offence to tamper with life-saving equipment near water, following the tragic death of Rotherham boy, Sam Haycock.
Sam, a British Schools Adaptive Judo champion, died aged 16 after getting into difficulty in the water at Ulley Reservoir on May 28 2021.
Sam’s parents, Simon and Gaynor, launched a campaign for more accessible life saving equipment, which Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has backed.
Ms Champion has drafted an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which, if successful, will create a specific offence of damaging vital lifesaving equipment, including lifebelts, throw lines and defibrillators.
“After meeting Sam’s parents, Simon and Gaynor, I was shocked to learn of theconvoluted process in place for accessing lifesaving equipment to preventvandalism,” said Ms Champion.
“In an emergency situation, in which seconds can mean the differencebetween life and death, any delay is potentially catastrophic.
“Despite the potentially lethal impact of mindless criminal damage to lifesaving equipment, its illogical that there exists no specific criminal offence to act as a deterrent.
“I am hopeful that my legal change would address this and, as aconsequence, save lives.
“Sam’s young life, and his promising future, have been cut appallingly short.
“I am committed to doing everything I can to support his parent’s campaign to prevent similar needless deaths.’
‘Sam’s law would ensure that lifesaving equipment is accessible when it is needed most. I
“share Simon and Gaynor’s view that this would be a fitting tribute to Sam andI hope that peers will support my amendment when it is debated in the House of Lords.”