YOUNGSTERS have been warned about the dangers of 'tombstoning' after a spike in incidents near a busy South Derbyshire waterway.
Derbyshire Police have urged youngsters not to play in or around Hilton Brook, off Main Street, after PCSOs had been called to the area on several occasions to remove youngsters jumping into the lake.
Tombstoning is when a person leaps and is plunged into deep water, in a similar way to how a stone would be.
Derby South section inspector Nigel Lidsey urged children to not play near the waterway, or face 'potentially life-threatening' consequences.
He said: "It is concerning that we've reports of youngsters jumping into, swimming in and tombstoning near Hilton Lock.
"We all understand that children want to have fun during the summer holidays and cool off in the hot weather, but this is not the way to do it.
"Nobody knows how deep places like Hilton Brook are or what type of currents people face if they were to jump in.
"Another thing youngsters do not realise is places like Hilton Brook are off the main routes in the village.
"If something was to happen and emergency help was needed, there could be a delay in reaching those in need and this could have potentially life-threatening consequences.
"All that we ask is that people use commonsense.
"We ask parents to speak to their children and impress upon them the need to steer clear of doing things like this.We would ask youngsters to think twice before they go to swim in a waterway.
"Water can be such an unknown quantity and none of us want people to fall victim to any harm when they are trying to have some fun.
"This is a serious matter and we don't ever want to get a call when a situation like this has ended in tragedy."
The issue reared its head this time last year at Swarkestone Lock, near Pingle Lane.
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service backed Insp Lidsey's comments.
A spokesman urged people to 'stay safe' around water but to keep out of rivers and lakes at all costs.
Anybody who witnesses dangerous behaviour in and around Hilton Lock or any waterway should call Derbyshire Police on 101 and, in an emergency, they dial 999.