Dangers of frozen pond ignored as Croydon children fail to heed warning of Midlands tragedy

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Service

Children were spotted playing on a frozen pond in Sanderstead just days after four young boys in Solihull died after falling through ice into a lake.

Croydon Council installed signs warning of thin ice in a bid to keep locals safe, but councillor Helen Redfern said she heard “alarming reports” of children playing on the frozen Sanderstead pond off Limpsfield Road.

In a blog post, she said: “After the tragic events that saw four boys die in Solihull, we would hope that everyone would be aware of the danger of playing on ice. It doesn’t matter how good a swimmer you are – the shock of the ice will stop you being able to help yourself out of the water, and others are put in danger when they try to help.

“I have raised this with the council and I have been advised that signs will be installed this week warning of the danger. Meanwhile, if you see someone playing on the ice please ask them to come safely to the bank and if you need to call 999, please do.”

On Sunday, December 11, four children were rushed to hospital after being rescued from Babbs Mill Lake, Solihull. Despite the best efforts of emergency services, the four boys, aged six, eight, 10 and 11, all sadly died.

Groups of adults and children were also seen walking on frozen lakes across London, including in Clapham Common and  Wimbledon Common this weekend.

Merton Police responded to a video posted to Twitter of people walking on the Wimbledon lake and said: “Our officers are there now with [London Fire Brigade Merton] speaking to all involved and advising of the dangers going onto frozen lakes.”

Picture top: The frozen Sanderstead pond (Picture: LDRS)

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