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There will be a continued focus on keeping people safe whilst out enjoying the night time economy in Shropshire, as the Home and Dry campaign driven by the Police and Crime Commissioner continues to bring together a number of agencies to prevent drowning.

After the PCC invested in a dedicated resource, based at the Royal Life Saving Society UK, to focus on improving water safety education, work has continued to progress to fully understand and profile water safety issues across West Mercia and steer and shape the next stage.

Shropshire was highlighted as having a particularly high proportion of water related incidents in the evening and overnight, and particularly at weekends. The Home and Dry Network will continue to focus their efforts to ensure everyone gets home safely. This will include patrols from West Mercia Search and Rescue Volunteers in Shrewsbury on the busiest weekend prior to Christmas.

Work will also continue to improve water safety in schools, with a pilot scheme in neighbouring Worcestershire, aiming to influence work nationally.

Commissioner John Campion said “From extensive research we are able to fully understand the extent of the problem and target our approach accordingly, focusing on those most at risk.

We have had too many awful incidents in Shropshire and I am pleased to see this work continuing to progress with the backing of a number of agencies, united and working towards the same aim, to keep people safe.”

Lee Heard, Charity Director at RLSS UK said “It is great for RLSS UK to work with West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner on one key message – to ensure everyone can enjoy water safely. This time of year, we often see many devastating incidents on our waterways, especially after nights out, and by educating members of the public of the risks around water we hope that these can be avoided.

We are also pleased to be working with the PCC on improving education within schools in the region, and developing a national strategy to ensure that water safety forms an important part of the national curriculum.”