North Devon villages benefit from Police and Crime Commissioner’s Safer Summer Scheme funding

North Devon villages, Croyde and Woolacombe, have been allocated funding by the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner along with 18 other locations across the two counties to help tackle anti-social behaviour in these tourist hotspots.

The purpose of the Safer Summer Scheme fund is to assist the police and local councils in helping to keep communities safe this summer, with the funding in Croyde and Woolacombe going towards two beach/street marshals in each location for 49 hours per week for 10 weeks.

The marshals will provide an additional, visible presence. They will be employed by North Devon Council with funding support from the PCC and will engage with residents and visitors to remind them of the rules, encourage responsible behaviour and help diffuse problems before they arise. Marshals are Security Industry Authority (SIA) accredited and will operate under clear protocols established by the local authorities and community safety partnerships, including safeguarding, reporting etc. Each marshal team will link closely with the local policing teams in North Devon.

Commenting on the announcement, Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner, Alison Hernandez, said:

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

“I welcome the fact that the bars, restaurants and cafes which are an important part of our economy have been able to reopen, and we are once again giving 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.

“I am delighted we can offer support to areas to help prevent antisocial behaviour this summer – in addition to the significant investments already being made through our summer policing plans.”

North Devon MP, Selaine Saxby, welcomed the announcement by saying:

“The street marshals are welcome news for the communities in Croyde and Woolacombe and will ensure that both residents and visitors will feel safer during the summer season.

“I work closely with our Police and Crime Commissioner, local councils and policing teams to ensure North Devon gets the support it needs to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour. This close working relationship and the hard work of our police officers has resulted in North Devon having some of the lowest crime rates in the country. 

“Thank you to them for working on the front line, and to the Commissioner for investing this funding into North Devon.”