Kingsbridge police have issued a statement detailing their plan to deal with the influx of people commuting to Salcombe this summer and the issues that arise from this increase in inhabitants.
The operation, dubbed ‘Op Flowton’, will see a variety of tactics put into place to protect Salcombe and its people from any problems that the increase in population may bring over the summer months.
In a statement, the police said: “June will see the start of OP Flowton, the summer policing plan for Salcombe. The huge increase in population in Salcombe in the summer months is well documented. Our aim is to keep everyone safe, prevent crime, ASB and disorder and promote the enjoyment of the town, both for local residents and holiday makers.”
Neighbourhood Team Leader Peter Shotton said: “We were approached after October and asked to put a policing plan together for Salcombe.”
He explained how an influx in people is always seen during summer months, but that “locals were a Little bit resentful about the behaviour” that had been occurring in Salcombe during this period, as holidaymakers and second home owners come down to Salcombe to enjoy the stunning beaches and scenery the town offers.
He explained how the increase in footfall in the area often leads to “groups of individuals sat around drinking” which in the past has caused issues like “anti social behaviour, excessive littering… and just complete disrespect for the open spaces in Salcombe.”
The town has public space protection orders, but the signs are small, and the orders are often ignored, so the new scheme to deal with the problems Salcombe faces in summer will ensure that these orders are enforced.
The local police force have liaised with local councils to put together a response, creating a joint plan with the council, the harbour master and other involved parties to increase police presence in both the daytime and during the evenings to set the tone for residents and ensure that people are being respectful.
A spokesperson for the police said: “The operation will involve regular hi-vis patrols by the neighbourhood team, led by PC Rob Irving and supported by officers from across South Devon. We want everyone to enjoy the town and its wealth of facilities, but this cannot be at the expense of public safety (in) the community. We will be out and about during the day and evening to promote a safe and respectful experience for all in Salcombe.”
They added: “Please come and say hello to us on patrol and keep us updated with any thoughts, news and ideas.”
The plan hopes to try and discourage the behaviour before it begins, and by putting it into action in June, the police believe this will set the tone for the rest of summer.
There will be regular meetings updating the operation, on the assumption that it may need adapting as the summer goes on.