Increase in anti-social behaviour like wild camping as Dorset reaches “full capacity”

Dorset Police is reporting enormous demand on emergency services, as more people visit the region, with environmental anti-social behaviour – often rubbish, fly tipping and wild camping up 63 percent last week, compared to the same week last year, taking up 205 hours of police time.

This comes ahead of the bank holiday weekend, when thousands more tourists are planning to visit and Dorset Police reports that “tourism bosses are already predicting the region is at full capacity”.

The huge increase in numbers of people visiting Dorset this summer compared to last year, has been driven by the coronavirus pandemic and the mass cancellation of holidays abroad.

Cars parked in Ferry Road in Studland
Swanage Coastguard
Rubbish on Bournemouth beach
BCP Council

Number of 999 calls are at record levels

Dorset Police says that the latest figures for August 2020 show that the number of 999 calls are at record levels with over two and a half million calls received by Dorset Police in the last week up to Sunday 23rd August 2020.

This is up six per cent on what was a previous record period in 2019. Last week also saw 3,665 incidents logged with Dorset Police and 1,305 incidents attended.

While overall recorded crime for July and August 2020 remains around four percent down, there have been 630 public order incidents reported – an increase of almost 15 percent – and a substantial increase in reports of anti-social behaviour (ASB).

  • Environmental ASB – often rubbish, fly tipping and wild camping – up 63 per cent on same period in 2019, representing 205 hours of police time
  • Nuisance ASB – up more than 22 percent on the same period in 2019, representing 1,818 hours of police time
  • Personal ASB, often drink related, up almost four per cent on the same period in 2019, representing 157 hours of police time
People on Durdle Door despite its closure
Poole Police
Durdle Door closed sign
Poole Police

“Demand on Dorset Police and all emergency services has been enormous during August”

Assistant Chief Constable, Sam de Reya said:

“We appreciate that for much of our tourism economy, the Bank Holiday brings the opportunity to try and recover revenue lost during lockdown earlier this year. We want to support that, but the public must help themselves by observing COVID-19 safety measures and behaving respectfully.

“Demand on Dorset Police and all emergency services has been enormous during August. We have planned and flexed our resources and I’m extremely proud of the way Dorset Police has responded to this challenge.

“However, the levels of ASB and public order offences are entirely unacceptable and cannot go unchallenged. Drink related issues have been particularly prevalent and I would ask our resident communities and visitors to know their limits and act responsibly.”

Sam de Reya added:

“COVID-19 has not gone away and remains a very real threat in our communities. Face coverings are mandatory on public transport, in takeaways, shops and enclosed public spaces such as museums, galleries and cinemas as well as places of worship.”

Rubbish left around Swanage bins
Swanage Coastguard
Barbecues at Wareham fire
DW Fire and Rescue
No barbecues sign
Purbeck Police
Barbecue on Studland beach
Swanage Fire Station
Disposable barbecues left in piles of rubbish
Swanage Fire Station
Shell Bay Beach fire extinguished by Swanage fire crew
Swanage Fire Station

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