MP Sarah Champion wants to make it a specific offence to damage lifesaving equipment like throwlines and defibrillators after two people drowned at Ulley Reservoir within four months.

The proposed amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill is known as Sam’s law after 16-year-old Sam Haycock sadly drowned at the Ulley Reservoir in May of this year. 

Sam’s family and friends have  campaigned to change the law and  raise awareness of the dangers of inland swimming and have teamed up with The Rotherham Current to launch  Sign Up For Sam a campaign backed by Sarah Champion.

Ms Champion said: “Sam’s young life, and his promising future, have been cut appallingly short. I am committed to doing everything I can to support his parents’ campaign to prevent similar needless deaths.”

Memorial in tribute to Sam at Ulley Reservoir

Another victim , 19-year-old Khizer Hayat, drowned at the Reservoir in September, just four months after Sam Haycock. Any lifesaving equipment that could have helped would have been padlocked and inaccessible for minutes while authorities were called.

Sam’s Law would save lives and could have helped people like Sam’s friends access the lifesaving towline to help him in the water. 

Ms Champion added: “I am deeply concerned that such measures to prevent vandalism lead to crucial delays. 

“Accessing vital equipment, which could have saved Sam’s life, was delayed by a convoluted process in place to prevent vandalism.

“There currently exists no specific offence of damaging lifesaving equipment which is a key deterrent to mindless actions that places lives at risk.”  

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill continues to be debated in The House of Lords and The House of Commons, with amendments like Sam’s Law soon to be discussed by politicians.

Featured Image Credit: Gov.uk, Sarah Champion Official Portrait