Adapted from Bude Police’s Facebook report:
Alison Hernandez, The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Devon and Cornwall along with Scott Mann MP visited Bude yesterday to publicise the Street Marshalls and CCTV investment and check on progress. £20k has been provided for the summer period and will be a legacy benefit to the town beyond that.
Ms Hernandez detailed their role to date, saying: “We have had an overwhelming positive response from local residents, visitors and businesses in Bude. The security firm; Town and Country Security, are a local firm and the street marshals are well known and respected in the town, which has made a big difference. I suspect if we had contracted a national firm with staff from outside Bude the response may have been different. The marshals are very keen to engage with the public and have fed back that over 95% of people (both residents and visitors) have been very positive about the scheme. The street marshals started on Friday 17th July and have provided 2 marshals that have patrolled the local coastal area 7 hours per day, 7 days per week.”
By her visit on Saturday, this was over 245 hours of joint visible patrols.
The marshalls are also giving out welfare items which include spikeys (spiked drink testers), space blankets, flip flops and cartons of water.
Common issues fed back and being addressed are:
1. Underage drinking on the beach, ongoing engagement with young people. In many cases, the street marshalls personally know the parents of those drinking and that is becoming a deterrent for young people who are concerned their parents may find out.
2. Alcohol and take away packaging (pizza boxes) litter and bins being full. Cornwall Council refuse (Biffa) agreed to empty more often as did Bude-Stratton Town Council, street marshalls also picking up glass etc. A lot of rubbish is generated overnight; the town council is considering putting a temporary large bin in situ.
3. Large groups (20-30) of young people congregating and drinking on the beach; engagement with local off -licence that is open 24 hours to promote responsible sales. Street marshals are moving large groups on but suspect this may just be displacing the issue to more remote areas of the town. Review the patrol route to ensure they are engaging with these groups.
4. Alcohol related violence at 02.30 am now the nightclub has reopened (trading as a pub); large police presence, street marshals sharing information with door staff so all briefed, licensing visit to premises.
5. Some businesses have insecurely left items; street marshals contacted shop owners to let them know (who were very appreciative.)
6. People urinating/defecating in public; town council agreed to trial opening public toilets on Summerleaze Beach 24 hours a day – this will be evaluated and may change (prior to this scheme they closed at 8pm). Street marshals also have radar key to let people into the disabled toilet if needed.
7. A huge proportion of problems occur when the sun is shining, and vice versa when the weather is poor.
8. One particular incident involved a group of young people causing damage to property and being abusive, the street marshals radioed this into the police who responded within 5 minutes and made an arrest. The marshalls have complemented the effective working between the police, the CCTV monitors and themselves.
9. Street marshalls have been provided with Safer Cornwall Z cards to signpost people to relevant services.
The investment has seen the current Bude Town CCTV system expanded and provides HD quality images far reaching over the Town and seafront. The work was carried out by a local Bude business.
In response, Mayor Bob Willingham added:
On Alison’s last visit to Bude, a year ago, I asked her if there was any way we could get the Front Office open at our Police Station. Today she has told me that she is working hard to make that happen! We need to demonstrate to the Chief Constable, as a community, that there is a desire to get the office open again and that we can provide volunteers to help support the staff on the front desk. If you think you would like to get involved let me know.If you have any thoughts on the reintroduction of the front desk, please email Mayor Bob direct at firstname.lastname@example.org