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The West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner and a range of other agencies, are uniting to drive a campaign to ensure people get home and dry.

In the last year 430 people drowned across England. Student Tom Jones tragically lost his life in Worcester during Fresher’s Week 2018 and Shane Walsh, a 29 year old father of two, tragically lost his life in Shrewsbury in 2017.

The Commissioner is working with Shane’s widow Kirsty Walsh and Tom’s parents, Ian and Vicki to raise awareness and prevent unnecessary water deaths. Other organisations involved in the multi-agency drive include West Mercia Police, West Mercia Search and Rescue, RNLI, RLSS UK, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service. Shropshire Fire Service, the Canal and River Trust, the Samaritans, the Street Pastors and Worcester University.

The Home and Dry Network has worked collectively and extensively to tackle the very roots of the issue- improved education around water safety, physical prevention, work around the night time economy and mental health awareness.

Commissioner John Campion said “The awful loss of life, has shook our communities. We are taking a strong united approach, which draws upon the expertise of a number of agencies and builds upon the existing good work.

I look forward to driving this campaign forward. Together we want to reduce the number of deaths, ensure emergency and voluntary resources aren’t drawn to incidents that could have been prevented, and ultimately keep our communities safe.”

For more information on the campaign visit:

An event today at Worcester University, will be an opportunity for each of the agencies to jointly promote water safety, unveil multi-agency promotional materials, to further expand the network and the campaign, and to hear first hand the experiences from the families directly affected by water deaths.

Issued: Friday 12th July 2019