After less than impressive weather in July the sun has made something of a return and warm weather is likely to be with us for at least some of this Bank Holiday weekend.

Friday will no doubt see many thousands of holidaymakers heading to Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for a weekend of fun, rest and relaxation.

Tourists bring with them a huge amount of energy and support much of our economy. From Penzance to Paignton, our hotels, restaurants, bars and shops will be given a much-needed boost, enabling them to train and employ many thousands of people. In Devon alone, the county council estimates that tourism-related visitor spend is worth £2.5bn a year, supporting more than 60,000 full-time jobs.

My message to those who want to visit our beautiful part of the world - and those who live here and are enjoying trips within our counties - is that visitors are welcome, especially if they observe a few simple rules to keep them and others safe.

Firstly take it easy on your way to the Westcountry or on drives within our force area. Leaving extra time, checking your vehicle for faults and ensuring the driver takes breaks will reduce the chance of you and your loved ones being involved in a collision.  

If the weather is hot, many thousands of you will be drawn to waterside locations. Pastimes like wild swimming and paddleboarding have become really popular recently and are wonderful if enjoyed safely.  A few simple precautions can dramatically reduce the risks of getting into trouble. The RNLI website and lifeguards can advise in detail, but of course if you see someone in trouble call 999.

I would also urge those enjoying the outdoors to be considerate of others. Complaints about antisocial behaviour go up a lot in summer months. 

ASB is really prevalent in residential areas. Noise from people on summer evenings can have a real impact on people’s sense of wellbeing. The charity ASB Help reports summer increases in neighbour disputes. It also suggests that those who are irritated by things like a neighbour having a one-off noisy barbecue ask themselves whether that really constitutes antisocial behaviour or if it’s reasonable and can be tolerated. Life would be better for us all, and tensions reduced, if we could all be a bit more considerate and a bit more tolerant.

So, with a little bit of caution and respect for others we can all enjoy the best of Devon and Cornwall this weekend, without putting others or ourselves at greater risk of harm. And of course spare a thought for our amazing emergency service workers, many of whom will not be putting their feet up but attending to people in their hour of need – let’s make their bank holiday weekend is one to remember for all the right reasons. And don’t forget the suncream.