A SUMMER crackdown on fire hydrant vandals has been launched.

Police and fire and rescue services have joined forces with Scottish Water in a campaign aimed at nipping hydrant vandalism in the bud.

Hooligans who target hydrants have been told their reckless actions can put lives in danger.
Typically, the vandalism occurs in warm weather, when youngsters set off hydrants and lark about in the jet of water.

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However, it can hamper crucial firefighting operations through reduced water pressure – and the sudden release of water can also cause serious injury.

Gary Caig, Scottish Water’s operations manager, said: “Some may see it as ‘harmless fun’ but that’s not the case.

“The reality is that, as they play in the water, homes and businesses are suffering low water pressure or no water at all.

“What’s more, firefighters rely on these hydrants for fighting fires and a shortage of water could endanger people’s lives and property.”

He added: “Fire hydrant vandalism is completely reckless and selfish and communities need to help us put a stop to this behaviour before the unthinkable occurs.

“We’re urging people to report any incidents to the police immediately.”

Assistant Chief Officer Ross Haggarty, of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We appreciate the majority of people are responsible members of society. However, there remains a very small element who can endanger lives by needlessly vandalising fire hydrants.

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“It is absolutely essential that our firefighters have access to water sources at times of emergency and having an operational hydrant close-by enables us to launch a quick attack on a fire and help protect lives, as well as property.”

Inspector Alan Mulholland, from Police Scotland’s Safer Communities team, said the force would take appropriate action against anyone found misusing or vandalising fire hydrants.
He added that people should call 101 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they see hydrants being vandalised.

The culprits risk fines of up to £5,000.