Devon and Cornwall full to capacity, say police
The South West of England has faced an influx of tourists since lockdown was lifted. Now, Devon and Cornwall are ‘full to capacity’ with the emergency services struggling to cope.
Since lockdown started, the British tourism sector has been hit hard, losing out on millions of pounds. Coastal tourist destinations have been impacted by COVID-19, so the increase in ‘staycations’ at the seaside are largely welcomed by businesses to avoid huge losses.
However, the behaviour of the tourists has caused unprecedented demand for the emergency services. The number of emergency calls received by the police at the beginning of August increased by 26.5 per cent compared to last year. Antisocial behaviour, including environmental and drink related incidents make up many of these calls.
The number of emergency calls received by the police at the beginning of August increased by 26.5 per cent compared to last year.
Overcrowding in the region has meant that country lanes are gridlocked with traffic and people cannot social distance in the narrow, single lane streets. Some of Cornwall’s residents have even said they are ‘too scared’ to go about their daily business.
Tourist hotspot Salcombe, in Devon, has experienced a ‘surge’ in visitors post lockdown according to the local council. The seaside town’s population, usually 2,000 in winter, has risen to around 25,000 this summer. Although businesses welcome increased tourism to aid the economy’s regrowth, the locals plea for holidaymakers to ‘show some respect’ and follow social distancing rules has caused some controversy.
An extra £500,000 has been given to Devon and Cornwall Police by the local Police and Crime Commissioner to help communities, enabling street marshals to monitor busy towns during the pandemic.
Editor: Ella Shadwell