Dorset Police prepare for a surge of visitors this weekend

Dorset Police prepare for a surge of visitors this weekend

Published by Maria Greenwood at 12:02pm 3rd July 2020.

Dorset Police are preparing for an influx of visitors this weekend, as the hospitality industry begins to reopen. 

Their message is come back safely, respect, protect and enjoy our communities.

Hotels, B&B's and holiday parks have seen a surge in bookings for this weekend, ready for their reopening on Saturday 4th July. 

Chief Constable James Vaughan said:

"We know our tourism industry has been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and there is a need to welcome responsible tourists back.

"However, this needs to be done safely while appreciating the fears our resident communities may have with many thousands of people coming back to our region - with the health concerns this may bring.

"We must follow Government advice and guidance as to what is safe, but we would ask all people - whether you are a visitor or a resident - to be respectful and begin to enjoy parts of life none of us have experienced since the end of March."

Last week Bournemouth and Poole had an estimated 500,000 visitors to the area leaving 40 tonnes of rubbish.

Bournemouth Beach BCP council

Dorset Police are expecting a surge in demand for police and other emergency services from this weekend, throughout the summer season, to September. 

More officers will be out on patrol in Dorset to help popular areas such as Weymouth and Bournemouth.

Chief Constable Vaughan added:

"The scenes of last week were extraordinary and of significant concern to myself as a Chief Constable and a resident.

"Everyone, whether you are a visitor or a resident, has a duty to act responsibly and not to become involved in drink related anti-social behaviour or leave your rubbish to litter our beautiful region.

"Just because we are coming out of lockdown it is not an excuse to drink irresponsibly, fight or act in a way likely to bring harm to yourself and others. It will not be tolerated, and police will take proactive action to deal with this kind of unacceptable behaviour."

police car on weymouth esplanade

Calls to 999 and 101 increase by 10 to 14 per cent during the summer season, which officers and staff will be prioritising, according to threat, risk, harm and vulnerability - which means some less urgent matters may take longer to attend. 

Chief Constable Vaughan said:

"If you are coming to Dorset, we welcome you as a responsible citizen, but please be aware COVID-19 has not gone away.

"Social distancing still needs to be observed and everyone must play their part to prevent the virus spreading and not bring further misery upon our communities.

"Play your part and behave in a way that respects our communities, supports the local economy, but ultimately keep yourself and others safe."