£25,000 to help tackle anti-social behaviour at Torbay hotspots

Commissioner Alison Hernandez speaks to officer Sean Pepper

Commissioner Alison Hernandez speaks to officer Sean Pepper - Credit: OPCC

Night-time street marshals will help make Torquay and Paignton safer this summer. 

The £25,000 funding is part of an overall pot of £350,000 from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 

The money is aimed specifically at preventing anti-social behaviour (ASB) by young people and creating safer settings for the evening and night-time economy (ENTE) in key areas. 

These themes were deliberately chosen to tie in with Devon and Cornwall’s summer policing plan  which highlights both ASB and ENTE as potential issues this summer following the Covid unlock on July 19 and increased levels of visitors. 

In Torbay, funding of £12,900 has been matched by Torbay Council to give an overall spend of £25,800. 

The money will be used to provide two street marshals in Torquay and a further two in Paignton who will cover the town centres and seafronts from Wednesday to Sunday until the early hours of the morning. 

The £350,000 investment by the Commissioner will also pay for specific youth anti-social behaviour provisions, including activity and music sessions at locations right across Torbay  throughout the summer 

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Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “I’m aware some of our community are nervous about the spread of Covid during the unlock and may be too afraid to enjoy our beautiful towns, cities and coastline.  

“Our experiences last summer showed that dry weather, alcohol and freedom led to some dire consequences. I want this opportunity to be used to prevent the escalation of anti-social behaviour because someone will intervene early setting clear expectations. 

“Tourism is the lifeblood of Devon and Cornwall and it’s understandable that both locals and visitors will be wanting to make the most of their new-found freedoms and enjoy the summer. 

“However, it’s important this does not veer into criminality or behaviour that can make others feel threatened or vulnerable.  

“The measures we are funding will help us keep an eye on both antisocial behaviour and the night-time economy and hopefully prevent any unwanted scenarios, allowing everyone to enjoy themselves.” 

Chief Superintendent Dan Evans, police silver commander for the summer and chair of the Safer Devon Partnership, said: “The summer always poses a significant and unique challenge for us in Devon and Cornwall. 

“This year we will have to deal with the backdrop of Covid-19 and a potential increase in visitors to the area compared to previous years. This will ultimately see an increase in demand on the services of all emergency services and partner agencies.” 

“Devon and Cornwall Police have been planning for the summer for some time, we have plans in place to deal with the threats identified and have additional resources available should we need them.  

“The additional funding provided by the OPCC to Community Safety Partnerships across Devon and Cornwall will be used to better focus our resources and attention at specific hotspots – dealing with youth antisocial behaviour and antisocial behaviour associated with the ENTE.  

“The money made available will facilitate us working in partnership to deal with these issues rather than any agency dealing with them in isolation.”