Police ‘wanted to arrest’ man trying to prevent repeat of Solihull lake tragedy

A bloke who smashed ice on a frozen lake in order to prevent a repeat of the Solihull tragedy says he was was “threatened with arrest”.

Dean Bradford says he decided to take action at Bathpool Park in Stoke-on-Trent to prevent kids from playing on the ice.

He says he wanted to prevent another accident of the kind that claimed four lives at Babbs Mill Lake on December 11.

READ MORE: Frozen lake tragedy footage shared online after 'screaming kids filmed from flats'

On Saturday afternoon (December 17), Dean was making a safety video for his YouTube channel to show landowners how to deter children from going onto the ice.

Using a chain with a weight on the end, the 23-year-old was smashing through the ice when a police car arrived on the scene.

Dean told StokeonTrentLive he had been there less than an hour when two officers approached and asked him to leave as he was "potentially weakening the ice", putting children playing on the ice in further danger.

However, in a statement Staffordshire Police insist they were concerned for his safety.

Dad-of-two Dean said: “After speaking with me, they went back to the car. I thought, 'if they go, I’ll just carry on', but they hung around and waited. They said 'we can’t wait all day' and they said if I don’t go they’ll have to arrest me for breaching the peace.

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“By this point there were three cars in attendance. I explained to them that ‘I’m doing it as a deterrent to stop people getting onto the ice. If they can’t get to it, they won’t go on it'.”

Dean said when the police went to arrest him, he moved around the lake. He said: “I went off and he [the police officer] grabbed my bike and bag and said I’d have to come back and get them.”

Dean says he then started filming and came to an arrangement with the police.

He said: “I got them on video saying they wouldn’t arrest me. I was saying ‘What am I actually doing wrong? How can you say I'm in breach of the peace?’ I made them promise they would let me get my bag and bike and then I disappeared."

Despite Saturday’s confrontation Dean says it will not deter him from doing the same thing when another cold snap arrives. He added: "I’ll be taking my GoPro and wearing it as a body cam next time.

"I’ve got two children myself, five and four, and after what happened in Solihull I wanted to do my bit. My heart goes out to them.”

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “We were called at 2.30pm and 3.50pm on Saturday (December 17) by members of the public concerned about a man on a frozen pool at Bathpool Park in Kidsgrove.

“The man was in the middle of the pool and claimed to be breaking the ice to stop children going onto it.

“Our officers explained that he was putting himself and others at risk by being on the ice and by breaking the ice and asked him repeatedly to come off the ice.”


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