Extra police to tackle drunken yobs

Joseph Bulmer

Around 70 extra officers drafted in to combat antisocial behaviour in Barnstaple, Bideford and Ilfracombe this Christmas

MORE police officers are being drafted into North Devon to help tackle drunken behaviour in Barnstaple, Bideford and Ilfracombe this Christmas.

Around 70 extra officers will be deployed across the region on Thursdays and Saturdays until January 1 in a bid to stop alcohol-fuelled behaviour such as fighting, shouting and urinating in the street.

Operation Reveller is being launched to combat a traditional rise in public order incidents in the three towns in the run-up to the festive period.

Sgt Mark Harper, community safety officer for North and West Devon said police were taking a “no tolerance” approach to antisocial behaviour during the Christmas period.

He said: “We know that more people are going to parties and going out in the lead up to Christmas and that they sometimes behave in a manner they would not normally do.

“We will have significant extra resources in place throughout December to ensure that people have a safe and enjoyable Christmas.”

North and West Devon chief inspector Toby Davies said that Section 30 dispersal orders were also being put in place throughout the festive period to enable officers to remove trouble makers from specific town centre areas.

He added: “Nationally we see increases in the level of drunkenness and disorder in the lead up to Christmas and we have a good record locally of addressing this type of behaviour.

“The vast majority of people out and about during the evenings are there to have fun but there is always a minority who can spoil it for everyone. It is that minority we will be targeting.

“North Devon is a safe place to live and visit and we are doing that little bit extra to help create a happy and positive atmosphere in our town centres this Christmas.”