Local authorities in Scotland should aim to have water safety management policies in place by 2026, in line with the country’s Drowning Prevention Strategy, according to a new report.
RoSPA’s report, Local Authority Approaches to Managing Water Safety, also recommends that councils should share good practice and successes in water safety by joining Water Safety Scotland, a group of organisations from across the country dedicated to tackling drowning.
The report is the culmination of a study conducted by RoSPA, in which all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities were surveyed on their management of water safety.
The research found that only around 40 per cent of Scotland’s councils have a water safety policy, while just under half state that there is a person or department within the authority that is responsible for water safety. Just over half of respondents were aware of Scotland’s Drowning Prevention Strategy – a document produced by Water Safety Scotland with the aim of cutting the number of drowning deaths by half by 2026.
Carlene McAvoy, RoSPA’s community safety development manager, said: “Given the fact that Scotland carries a disproportionate burden of the UK’s accidental drowning fatalities, with a rate more than double the UK average, it’s really important that everyone plays their part in driving this number down.
“There are some excellent examples of good policies and practice at some of Scotland’s local authorities, however this must be extended across all 32.
“We’re urging every local authority to join Water Safety Scotland, to ensure that they are staying abreast of good practice examples and developments, and learning from what works well in other areas, so that we can save lives.”
To read Local Authority Approaches to Managing Water Safety see www.rospa.com/about/around-the-uk/scotland/water-safety