Police step up seafront patrols after officers were called to break up large crowd on Exmouth beach

Police called to break up a crowd of around 100 people from Exmouth beach at the weekend found only small groups on arrival.

Officers were called to an area of the beach at around 6.30pm on Friday (April 2) after receiving a report of a large gathering, with people fighting.

When police arrived, they found groups of no more than six people, and no large crowds.

Devon and Cornwall Police said officers are investigating a report of assault, where a teenager was left with ‘low-level injuries’.

And police have stepped up patrols in the area in a bid to tackle any anti-social behaviour on the seafront.

The force said police had been called to Exmouth seafront over two nights, responding to reports crowds were gathering on the beach.

Police said anti-social behaviour would be dealt with ‘robustly’ and those committing offences would be identified.

Officers will use dispersal laws to break up large crowds and anyone found returning faces arrest or prosecution, the force said.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: “We received a report at around 6.30pm on Friday 2 April that around 100 people were gathered and some were fighting.

“On the arrival of officers, people were generally in groups of no more than six and any crowds were dispersed.

“No disorder was seen taking place.

“Some people had been drinking too much and we are investigating one report of assault in which an 18-year-old man sustained some low-level injuries described as reddening to his skin.

“Details of people present were taken.”

The spokesman added: “Those involved in anti-social behaviour will be robustly dealt with and we will seek out those who have committed offences.

“Devon and Cornwall Police is using Section 35 dispersal order legislation in Exmouth.

“It means anyone who is formally given notice to disperse from the area must not return within a notice period.

“Anyone who does is liable for arrest and prosecution.

“Any antisocial behaviour or violence is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated and, as a consequence, there will continued high-visibility patrols in the Exmouth area over the coming days to reassure our community and encourage people to stay safe.”

Devon and Cornwall Police urged people to comply to the current Covid restrictions and social distancing laws.

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