AN MP has issued a call to make vandalism of water safety equipment a specific offence after it was revealed safety signs along the river had been trashed just one week after they were installed.

The Evening Times told earlier this month how vital signs warning vandals not to damage lifebelts had been targeted.

Alison Thewliss then raised the issue of deaths along the River Clyde at Westminster and the "frustration" felt at the constant damage to life belts.

Now the MP has secured a debate on the issue of water safety - and said interfering with life-saving equipment should be an offence.

Ms Thewliss said: "I am delighted to have been able to secure an adjournment debate on the important issue of water safety, and issues surrounding the vandalism of safety equipment.

"There have been a number of deaths on the River Clyde this year already - including many in my constituency - and my thoughts go out to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones in such tragic circumstances."

READ MORE: River Clyde lifebelt signs trashed after a week

Christopher Spiers, 28, slipped and fell into the Clyde in 2016 and his parents have campaigned on the issue of river safety ever since.

Ms Thewliss added: "Christopher's parents, Duncan and Margaret, have been tireless campaigners on the issue of water safety ever since, and have succeeded in getting a commitment from Glasgow City Council to install ropes for lifebelts along the banks of the River Clyde.

"I greatly commend their efforts.

Evening Times:

"However, it is to the frustration of many - including Glasgow's Humane Society, which has spent 229 years raising issues of water safety - that signs recently installed to discourage people from tampering with and damaging water safety equipment have themselves been damaged.

"This behaviour is irresponsible, and threatens lives.

"More must be done on this issue, and I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss with Ministers at Westminster and Holyrood the possibility of making vandalism of water safety equipment a specific offence."

The 'Taking a lifebelt is taking a life' campaign saw signs erected along the River Clyde by Glasgow City Council earlier this month.

But bosses noticed signs near the Clutha Vaults Bar had been wrecked just days after being put in place.

READ MORE: Vandals throw hundreds of lifebelts into the Clyde

Andy Waddell, Chairman of Glasgow's Water Safety Group, called the damage "mind-boggling" and council staff moved to repair the sign within the hour.

Within the Glasgow City boundary, there are 670 lifebelts stationed along the River Clyde.

On average 30 to 40 lifebelts are recovered from the River Clyde every week, which means up to 2000 vandalism incidents in Glasgow each year.

The campaign 'Taking a lifebelt is taking a life' is supported by the council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Glasgow Humane Society and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

It will see a total of 41 signs installed along the river asking people not to take lifebelts.

The installation of the signs is part of the work of the multi-agency Glasgow Water Safety Group with the signs fitted along the river by the council.

Through the Water Safety Group, the council has also been trialling the use of throw ropes attached to lifebelts following the campaign by the Spiers family.