Man facing court action for jumping from Devil's Bridge as patrols are stepped up to catch Kirkby Lonsdale 'tombstoners' (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Man facing court action for jumping from Devil's Bridge as patrols are stepped up to catch Kirkby Lonsdale 'tombstoners'
A MAN is facing prosecution for allegedly jumping from Devil's Bridge, as authorities step up patrols at the Kirkby Lonsdale beauty spot.
Scores of people have been seen making the 30ft leap from the 14th century monument this week as Cumbria basked in its hottest temperatures of the year.
Now, South Lakeland District Council’s enforcement team has increased its presence on the bridge, where a bylaw prohibits so-called 'tombstoning' into the River Lune.
Yesterday afternoon, a council officer said they saw a man jumping from the three-arched structure and immediately reported him to Cumbria Police.
A police officer attended the scene and the enforcement officer was able to identify the alleged offender to the officer.
The officer spoke to the man - a 24-year-old from Lancaster - who was reported for contravening the bylaw.
A file will now be submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service, which will decide whether any charges are brought.
It comes after Kirkby Lonsdale town councillor Paul Stephenson called for culprits to be taken to court and fined to act as a deterrent to others.
Kendal-based Inspector Paul Latham, of Cumbria Police, said: “I would appeal to members of the public, local communities and councillors to point out to officers people who they see jumping off Devil's Bridge.
“With this evidence we can then take action against the people breaking the bylaw that is in place.”
SLDC's enforcement officer John Barwise added: “The bylaw is in place for a reason - to protect public safety.
“The sign at Devil's Bridge makes it very clear that jumping off the bridge is extremely dangerous and illegal.
“I hope this action by Cumbria Police will deter other people from putting themselves and others at risk of serious injury.
“I also reinforce the message that members of the public and the local community must report anyone they see jumping off the bridge to the police immediately.”
This week, the Gazette witnessed several young men jump from the bridge in quick succession - despite being approached by members of the public and told of the potential dangers.
The illegal practice made national headlines with people leaping from the bridge sometimes head-first and backwards captured on camera.
Last July, 22-year-old Darrell Teal, of Manchester, drowned after jumping into the water and passing out.
The bylaw was introduced in 1998.
People caught flouting the order can be fined £500.
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