Meeting Covid marshals in Fistral Beach, Newquay, last summer
The money will help work with young people to prevent anti-social behaviour and pay for additional resources in locations identified with the police.
Monday, March 29, marks a significant change to Covid-19 lockdown rules, with Government guidance saying that after it travel outside people’s local area is allowed. A fortnight later, on April 12, self-contained holiday accommodation opens and hospitality venues can open outside.
Last year the commissioner funded street and beach marshals in a programme that later evaluation showed was welcomed by partners. Marshals in places like Exeter Quay, Plymouth Barbican and St Ives helped advise social distancing and provided a reassuring presence.
That scheme was in response to reports of early lockdown breaches, such as a large gatherings of young people in Exmouth, Devon.
“Over the next few weeks and months life should start to return to normal as a result of the continued falls in infection rates and the success of the vaccine programme,” she said.
“We expect a bumper summer season in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. After a very difficult 12 months this is brilliant news as we can all look forward to being able to see friends and family, hug our loved ones and access social events and services.
“The police, local authorities and other partners are all working closely to ensure that our communities are kept safe as these changes occur. However, residents and visitors also have a role to play – making sure that we continue to act within the rules and being mindful of how our behaviour can affect other people.”
Later in May larger groups will be able to gather outside and there will be further changes to how hospitality can operate, with a re-opening of bars and nightclubs expected in June.
The Commissioner has asked the Government to provide clarity around legislation and guidance for police and residents to ensure that everyone is clear what they can and cannot do at each stage of these changes.
“I have been in contact with the policing minister about these key dates, which are significant for our communities and the region’s economy,” she said.
“This time last year we, private and public sector partners were asking people to stay away through the #ComeBackLater campaign. With more than 20 million people now vaccinated and the changes outlined above we can expect a very busy summer as we ask people to #ComeBackNow.”
The Commissioner’s office has been working with the police to understand how they and partners are planning for each step of the changes and into summer.
The Commissioner said: “Last year, as the first lockdown eased, while the vast majority of people who wanted to enjoy Devon and Cornwall’s beaches, moorlands and cities were responsible and considerate towards resident communities, there was a minority who camped in unauthorised locations, left litter, did not observe Covid-19 regulations and therefore caused anxiety. We also saw unacceptable behaviour linked to alcohol in public space which caused distress.
“We must be clear that our residents were among those causing issues – it was not simply visitors from outside the force area.
“I am hugely looking forward to spending some time and money in our wonderful hospitality industry, as I am sure most of our residents are.
To support and enhance existing plans being put in place by the police and local partners the PCC is allocating £350,000.
This funding will be focused in two areas:
an immediate allocation of £100,000 of additional funding which will be shared amongst Community Safety Partnerships to support work with young people to help prevent antisocial behaviour over the summer
making some funding available in hotspot locations such night time economies with up to £10,000 per area available (if match funded locally) to support initiatives such as taxi marshals, CCTV monitoring and schemes which help reduce vulnerability over the summer period
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will be working with the police and Community Safety Partnerships over the coming weeks to put arrangements in place by the early summer season.
Until March 29 national lockdown rules apply to control the spread of Covid-19.
The new restrictions permit you to exercise outdoors locally. Devon and Cornwall Police has a regularly updated Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions section on its website which can be found here: www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/covid-19-faq.