'Beach' on the Thames closed this weekend

By The Editor

7th Aug 2020 | Local News

Teddington 'beach' is being closed this weekend in a crackdown on large gatherings, drinking and people dangerously jumping into the water from the bridge.

Richmond Council leader Gareth Roberts addressed the issue in a video which you can watch above.

"The council is aware of the huge rise of anti-social behaviour and vandalism which is occurring near Teddington Lock.

"We are, with our partners - the police, the Environment Agency, fire brigade and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution - determined to get on top of this issue."

Ham and Petersham Police said it was enforcing a dispersal zone will be in effect from 4pm today (Friday, August 7) around the Teddington lock area.

"This is to prevent anti-social behavior and youths jumping into the water from the bridges," the force said.

"Parents, please be aware of your child's whereabouts tomorrow."

Ham and Petersham Police addressed the same issue in a post on June 26.

They wrote: "I have no doubt some of you have heard about the large gatherings at Teddington lock for the last 2 days, under age drinking and drug taking was our main concern.

"Just to let you know we have been proactively policing this trying to put a stop to it. #unacceptable."

Dangers of tombstoning

Warnings about 'tombstoning' - jumping from height into water - from the bridge have also been issued.

Teddington RNLI said: "Around the UK, many are putting themselves at huge risk by tombstoning.

"At Teddington recently, we've seen dozens of young people doing this at the Lock footbridge.

"You risk serious spinal and other injury; cold water shock on entry can kill in seconds. Please #RespectTheWater."

Dispersal zone

A dispersal zone gives the police extra powers to move on unruly individuals and crowds of people.

The tactic has been used multiple times by Richmond upon Thames Police, most recently last weekend.

The zone around Teddington Lock will last for 24 hours, until 4pm on Sunday, August 9.

While a dispersal zone is in place, it is a crime to:

  • Fail to comply with a direction given by a police officer or PCSO to disperse from the area
  • Fail to surrender items likely to cause anti-social behaviour, on request of a police officer or PCSO
  • Return within a specified period after being directed to disperse from the area.

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