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Vandalism of watercourses and other illegal acts
This section deals with everything from intentional acts designed to cause flooding to the type of behaviour that could be described as normal childhood behaviour.
Debris in watercourses can combine to cause blockages and unfortunately this process is sometimes given a helping hand. Residents adjoining public open space in particular should be on the look out for branches dropped across rivers and brooks, intentional damming, stepping stones that may trap debris, other forms of bridging etc.
Acting on vandalism and other illegal acts
Where blockages and damage are observed on public land such as parks, public open space, playing fields etc the blockage should be reported to the relevant Council department so that the blockage may be removed by their grounds maintenance contractors. If a contact number is not readily available on a site board or building either use the phone numbers attached or phone the rivers and brooks number (0121 303 7235) or 24 hour emergency number (0121 303 4149). The 24 hour number should only be used when there is an imminent risk of flooding which requires immediate attention.
Where the blockage or risk of blockages is on private land this should be brought to the attention of the land owner. Where a number of neighbouring land owners share the same watercourse there are positive advantages to be had from organising residents groups so that those more able are in a position to assist less able neighbours thus providing the best level of defence for all.
A further way to address the problem is to educate children that play near to watercourses, not just of the safety and health hazards, but also of the consequences of flooding that could arise from their activities.
6. Financial help after severe flood damage