Police ready for surge in visitors to West Dorset resorts this weekend

The sandy Cobb beach at Lyme Regis. Picture Simon Horn

The sandy Cobb beach at Lyme Regis. Picture Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Police are preparing for a surge of visitors in West Dorset this weekend as lockdown restrictions ease and the hospitality industry reopens.

Towns and villages including Lyme Regis and Charmouth have seen a surge in bookings for hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites as hospitality businesses are allowed to re-open tomorrow (Saturday, July 4).

But the police message to those living in and coming to the region is – ‘come back safely, respect, protect and enjoy our communities’.

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.

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“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.

“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.

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“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.”

Chief Constable Vaughan added: “Our licensed industry will re-open on Saturday, but it will be a very different experience for those going to a pub or restaurant.

“You are very likely to have to book your visit and may be restricted to the amount of time you can spend in an establishment. We want people to enjoy that experience, but be patient and prepared to have to plan – a walk-up visit to a pub may not be possible for some weeks..

“If you are going to a beach or beauty spot, think about how you are parking your vehicle and the legacy you may leave. We have seen many tonnes of rubbish left on our coastline and country parks during the last week, which is inexcusable – respect our wonderful region and take your rubbish away.”

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