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South London boat dock welcomes new fences and security after battles with youths

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An owner of a boat dock in South London has welcomed new fences put in place to stop youths wreaking havoc.

It comes as youths have been spotted jumping off Teddington Lock Footbridges, swimming and climbing on to boats owned by residents.

Both the Environment Agency (EA) and police have been working towards a solution, with the EA installing fencing around the boat entrance as well as increasing patrols.

Moorings owner Malcolm White told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “It’s been quiet for a fortnight now and the fencing will help. It’s died off a bit.

“The Environment Agency is trying its best and there’s nothing much more it can do.”

New fences to stop youths climbing on to residents’ boats in Teddington

When asked what happens when young people jump on boats, Malcolm said: “We f*** them off if we can.”

Dock resident Richard Shead said: “It is far better with the fence, to date no issue, so I am a little reluctant to rock the boat – so to speak!”

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “The EA have been working closely with our partner organisations since the spring to come up with effective ways of managing the on-going issue of people swimming near Teddington lock, as it is not something that we can solve on our own.

“To support our staff at the site, we have employed security guards and we will have a patrol boat moored at the lock for faster response.

“Their remit is to ensure that people are not jumping or swimming in the lock and to support our staff in managing the site.

“We have installed additional fencing at the site to try to prevent people from accessing the lock and have put up additional no swimming signs.

“We discourage people from swimming in the locks, and in doing so, educate them about the dangers of swimming and jumping into the Thames.”

A spokesperson from the South West Basic Command Policing Unit previously told the LDRS: “We are aware of this ongoing anti-social behaviour issue at Teddington Lock and we are working in partnership with Richmond Council to find a long-term resolution.

“Over the past week officers have focused patrols at this location and along the riverside. This will continue where needed.

“Our local teams are aware of privately owned water craft having been broken into, and will be speaking to the owners and investigating these incidents where appropriate.”

Richmond Council has been contacted for comment.

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/south-london-boat-dock-welcomes-21237252