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Tourists urged to plan visits ahead of bank holiday weekend


By PA News

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Two police forces are urging tourists to plan their visit ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

Many thousands of holidaymakers are expected to visit the counties of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall over the three-day break.

Police said they expect congested roads and increased demand on all emergency services.

Places like Marazion and Saint Michael’s Mount in Cornwall are proving popular with holidaymakers (David Davies/PA)
Places like Marazion and Saint Michael’s Mount in Cornwall are proving popular with holidaymakers (David Davies/PA)

Devon and Cornwall Police said the latest figures for August show 999 call demand remaining at record levels with a 13% increase in calls compared with the same period in 2019 – averaging almost 1,000 per day and rising to 1,200 during busy days and weekends.

With Storm Ellen and Storm Francis hitting the West Country in recent days, demand has eased off but last weekend the force received 2,039 999 calls.

Incidents of littering, fly-tipping and wild camping have risen 29% on last year, while anti-social behaviour has gone up 20% and public order offences up 32%.

In Dorset, 999 calls are up 6% this month, compared with 2019, and there has been a 15% increase in public order incidents.

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew, of Devon and Cornwall Police, urged anyone thinking of travelling to the South West of England to book accommodation before they set off.

“We know that for much of our tourism economy the bank holiday brings opportunity to try and make up for revenue lost during lockdown earlier this year,” he said.

“We are working to support this and hope everyone can enjoy our towns, beaches and moors in a safe and respectable manner.

“Sadly, we have seen tragedy on the coastline, and I want to remind people to respect the water and to use beaches where we have lifeguards.”

Holidaymakers are putting extra pressure on Devon and Cornwall Police’s resources (David Davies/PA)
Holidaymakers are putting extra pressure on Devon and Cornwall Police’s resources (David Davies/PA)

Dorset Police Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya said: “Demand on Dorset Police and all emergency services has been enormous during August.

“However, the levels of ASB and public order offences are entirely unacceptable and cannot go unchallenged.

“Drink-related issues have been particularly prevalent and I would ask our resident communities and visitors to know their limits and act responsibly.

“Covid-19 has not gone away and remains a very real threat in our communities.

“Face coverings are mandatory on public transport, in takeaways, shops and enclosed public spaces such as museums, galleries and cinemas as well as places of worship.

“We would ask everyone to respect each other and maintain social distancing whenever possible.”

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