Exmouth and Exeter get slice of £500k ‘fighting fund’ to tackle booze-fuelled bad behaviour

Cash from a £500,000 ‘fighting fund’ is to help tackle alcohol-fuelled antisocial behaviour on Exmouth seafront and in Exeter.

Orcombe Point and the city’s quay and cathedral are among 20 locations that will benefit from funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall.

The extra money aims to make popular beauty spots safer and cleaner this summer with a surge of visitors expected from Saturday (July 4) as lockdown is eased further.

It can be spent on street marshals, CCTV, volunteer schemes like street pastors, and the provision of temporary toilets.

Booze-fuelled mass brawls on Exmouth beach have made national headlines in the last fortnight.

Crime tsar Alison Hernandez says the new measures will ‘help complement a wider summer policing plan’ that has aided police in putting extra resources at hot-spots like Orcombe Point.

Cllr Phil Bialyk and Alison Hernandez at Exeter Quay. Picture: OPCC

Cllr Phil Bialyk and Alison Hernandez at Exeter Quay. Picture: OPCC

The 20 locations to benefit from the additional funding have been identified by Devon and Cornwall Police to help prevent alcohol-related antisocial behaviour over the busy Covid-19 summer period.

They are:

  • Exmouth seafront and Orcombe Point;
  • Exeter Quay;
  • Exeter Cathedral;
  • Bideford Quay;
  • Woolacombe beach;
  • Croyde Bay;
  • Torquay seafronts;
  • Paignton seafronts;
  • Newton Abbot;
  • Teignmouth waterfront;
  • Brixham waterfront and harbour;
  • Towan beach and waterfront (Newquay);
  • Fistral Beach (Newquay);
  • St Ives waterfront;
  • Lemon Quay (Truro);
  • Perran Sands (Perranporth);
  • Penzance waterfront;
  • Bude waterfront;
  • Plymouth Hoe and Plymouth Barbican.
Police were called to Exmouth beach on Thursday, June 25.

Police were called to Exmouth beach on Thursday, June 25.

Ms Hernandez says she will be working with local authorities and community safety partnerships in the next few days to agree ‘bespoke solutions’ for each area.

She has immediately made £3,000 available per location to support this coming weekend.

This new initiative comes directly from discussions between the Commissioner and councils in response to concerns about specific locations.

Ms Hernandez said: “We are entering what is traditionally Devon and Cornwall Police’s busiest period, with potentially even more visitors to the West Country than in previous years.

“I welcome the fact that the bars, restaurants and cafes, which are an important part of our economy, will be able to open this weekend, and we can once again give tourists a warm West Country welcome.

“But I do want people to behave responsibly and consider the impact of their behaviour on others.

“This funding represents a significant investment in practical measures that, in partnership with councils and police, will help keep people safe and reduce the impact of the impending changes to coronavirus regulations.

“Our work with Exeter last week identified a wider opportunity to see us help more locations and I am delighted we can offer similar support to a wider group of areas to help prevent alcohol related antisocial behaviour this summer – in addition to the significant investments already being made through our summer policing plans.”

Police patrolling Orcombe Point in Exmouth. Photo: Darrell Trigs.

Police patrolling Orcombe Point in Exmouth.
Photo: Darrell Trigs.

Exeter City Council leader Councillor Phil Bialyk said: “There is a lot to be said for people taking personal responsibility when it comes to sporadic outburst of antisocial behaviour. It has been a national problem and unfortunately Exeter hasn’t been immune.

“Together with the Commissioner I am confident we are doing everything within our control and resources to continue to retain Exeter Quay a stunning location for people to enjoy.”

In Torbay, Brixham, Paignton and Torquay will receive a total of up to £60,000 to spend on the measures.

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