Children continue to risk injury at Keighley's Tinker Bridge accident site

Children continue to risk injury at Keighley's Tinker Bridge accident site

Councillor Brian Morris, left, and town councillor John Kirkby stand near the weir that was the scene of a rescue when a boy fell into the North Beck, downstream of Tinker Bridge, between Fell Lane and North Dean Road

Councillor Brian Morris, left, and town councillor John Kirkby stand near the weir that was the scene of a rescue when a boy fell into the North Beck, downstream of Tinker Bridge, between Fell Lane and North Dean Road

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by

CHILDREN are still putting their lives at risk by jumping into the water at a spot where an eight-year-old boy was badly hurt.

A local resident reported that five youngsters jumped into the weir at Tinker Bridge, in North Beck, on August 28, a month after the eight-year-old was critically injured on July 27. Police say the boy remains seriously ill in hospital five weeks on from the accident.

Responding to the news that youngsters continue to endanger themselves at Tinker Bridge, Keighley West ward councillor Brian Morris said: "Parents need to be saying to their kids 'don't do it, it's stupid'.

"Especially when you consider the circumstances of what has happened to this other child. I wish him well and we all hope he's going to recover.

"I don't know what the solution is. It's difficult to come up with something that won't offend people.

"There's only so much you can do, you can't put up fences all over the place."

He added that it was particularly hard to stop young people from doing dangerous things when they are trying to impress their peers. He agreed that the ease with which youngsters can use modern technology to video their activities and post them online acted as a further temptation.

Fellow ward councillor Jan Smithies said she was due to meet with representatives from the Aire Wharfe Rivers Trust at Tinker Bridge today to explore the feasibility of having the weir "tiered" to get rid of the drop and make it safer.

"I'm not making promises to anyone because this is at an extremely early stage," she cautioned. "There is a neighbourhood forum meeting in Braithwaite on Tuesday, September 9 at 7pm in the Keith Thompson Centre, and I'd encourage people with views on this issue to come along and speak.

"However, we need to keep this in perspective. Of course what happened to this boy was tragic, but children can also get run over crossing a road.

"We have to get the balance right between kids exploring and enjoying themselves and keeping them safe."

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police, reacting to the news that children are still jumping into the North Beck, said officers wanted to re-emphasise the warning they originally issued in late July.

Inspector Sue Sanderson, of Keighley Area Neighbourhood Team, said: "Open water like streams, rivers and canals can look inviting.

"But there are no lifeguards in case someone gets into difficulty and there can be hidden currents which can catch out even an experienced swimmer. The temperature of open water is often very cold and this can also cause difficulties."

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