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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Newspaper faces May Day criticism
A jumper
More than 100 people took part in the jump
Police angry at revellers who took part in Oxford's traditional May Day bridge jump have criticised the student press for not printing their safety warnings.

Thames Valley Police and council chiefs have met to review their operation on the day and to plan for next year.

About 12,000 people attended the city's celebrations, with scores jumping from Magdalen Bridge into the river and about 10 people hospitalised.

The Oxford Student's editor said the paper could not have stopped jumpers.

I do not necessarily see it as a duty of a student newspaper to tell people who are supposed to be among the most intelligent in the country that jumping off a 30ft bridge could perhaps be a dangerous activity
Roger Waite, The Oxford Student

Roger Waite told the BBC News website: "I think that the police's comment is justified in that we did not include any comments about the dangers of jumping off the bridge in the paper.

"But there are two factors that mitigate that.

"I really do not think that a column in a student newspaper four days before the day was going to stop them jumping.

"I do not necessarily see it as a duty of a student newspaper to tell people who are supposed to be among the most intelligent in the country that jumping off a 30ft bridge could perhaps be a dangerous activity."

A joint meeting of the organisations involved in supervising the event said that the warnings given out through the rest of the media were "appropriate and wide-reaching".

"However, the group believed that the university student media outlets could have been more supportive in their pre-event coverage of the warnings," a police spokeswoman added.

A jumper climbing the bridge
Police had warned revellers of the dangers of jumping

The spokeswoman said that it was felt warning signs were "clear and obvious" and that health and safety guidance would be sought before next year's event.

"The irresponsible actions of that minority will inevitably be a significant factor when considering next year's event and the role of the councils, emergency services and the college," she said.

The group is due to meet again in September.

Every year thousands of people gather on and around Magdalen Bridge to hear choristers sing hymns at dawn from the tower at Magdalen College.

The bridge was closed during the celebrations for three years until 2001 after one young reveller was left paralysed.

In 2003, a handful of people jumped into the river after climbing over a two-metre security fence.

A year later safety barriers were erected and stewards stopped people from jumping into the river.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the revellers jumping off Magdalen Bridge



SEE ALSO:
Five in hospital over bridge jump
02 May 05 |  Oxfordshire
Warning over May Day bridge jump
29 Apr 05 |  Oxfordshire
May Day revellers party on bridge
01 May 04 |  Oxfordshire
Safety plan to tame May Day party
26 Apr 04 |  Oxfordshire


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