Surrey

Trespassers attack guards at Godstone Reservoir

Families breaking into a disused reservoir to go swimming are endangering themselves and the lives of their children, its owners have warned.

Bolt cutters have been used to get in and police have been called after reports of assaults on security guards.

Sutton and East Surrey Water, which owns Godstone Reservoir, said the reservoir, a former quarry, was too dangerous for swimming.

It said the water was deep and cold and contained submerged trees.

Fencing smashed

Peter Stephenson, technical support manager, said they had consulted police and the Health and Safety Executive some time ago about dangers at the site and how to improve security.

Earlier this year, the fencing was substantially reinforced and a security firm also carries out daily patrols.

Mr Stephenson said, despite the increased measures, people were still breaking in and trespassing at the site, which has high security fencing and signs warning people about the dangers of entering the water.

Trespassers had used heavy objects such as tree trunks to smash the fencing down, he added.

"This is irresponsible and dangerous behaviour and it beggars belief that parents are trespassing and taking young children onto the site," he said.

Police have been called to incidents where security guards have been assaulted.

The company is now exploring the possibility of leasing the reservoir to a fishing club, in the hope that an increased presence will boost security and surveillance on the site.

Because of this plan and for safety reasons, a contractor has been hired to remove the submerged trees, Mr Stephenson said.

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