VITAL signs warning thugs not to vandalise lifebelts have been trashed just ONE week after being installed.

The 'Taking a lifebelt is taking a life’ campaign saw signs put up along the River Clyde by Glasgow City Council.

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

And they have a stark message for vandals - you are risking lives.

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Andy Waddell, Chairman of Glasgow’s Water Safety Group, said: “People who vandalise the lifebelts along the Clyde need to be fully aware of the potentially lethal consequences of their actions.

“That anyone who would seek to destroy a safety message intended to protect lives is truly mind-boggling."

The damaged sign was spotted on Tuesday afternoon with Glasgow City Council moving immediately to have it repaired.

Mr Waddell added: “We replaced the vandalised sign without delay due to the importance of the safety message it displayed.”

READ MORE: Family call for river safety after son drowns in Clyde

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 to lifebelts 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, who lost their son Christopher in an accident by the river.

As told last year in the Evening Times, Duncan Spiers and his wife Margaret set up a petition calling on a review of river safety at the Clyde with a view to presenting it to the Scottish Government once they have attracted enough signatures.

READ MORE: Christopher Spiers family wins River Clyde campaign

The ropes were previously routinely stolen, but during the trial of throw ropes they have remained in place.

Mr Waddell added: “These new signs have barely been in place for a week and it’s unbelievable they have already been targeted by vandals.

“The whole purpose of the signs is to ensure vital safety equipment is left alone for times of emergency.

“The signs are about challenging the people who think it’s just a bit of fun to toss a lifebelt into the water for no apparent reason."