New police patrol pilot scheme for Croyde Beach
THE first ever Beach Beat PCSO in Devon will be joining the RNLI Lifeguards on patrol at Croyde Beach from next week. Police Community Support Officer Jo Carter will be extending her beat onto the beach for the summer season from Friday of next week (July
THE first ever Beach Beat PCSO in Devon will be joining the RNLI Lifeguards on patrol at Croyde Beach from next week.
Police Community Support Officer Jo Carter will be extending her beat onto the beach for the summer season from Friday of next week (July 24) after successfully completing the same tough training courses as the lifeguards.
By providing a police presence the Beach Beat scheme aims to make beaches feel even safer for both visitors and locals, and allows lifeguards to concentrate on their core responsibilities of providing vital beach safety information, responding to both major and minor incidents and ultimately saving lives at sea.
Jo's role will be to focus on community safety issues such as missing children, lost property or enforcing bylaws, as well as being on hand to provide advice and to make it easier for people to report any incidents.
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Having received full RNLI Lifeguard training, which includes training as a first responder to the ambulance service, Jo will also be able to support the lifeguards if required and respond in an emergency situation.
Her usual patrols cover the villages of Braunton, Georgeham, Croyde and Chivenor.
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"I'm really proud to be the first Beach Beat PCSO in Devon, and particularly grateful to my colleagues at Braunton police who have taken on some of my other duties to free up my time to spend on my beach patrols," she said.
"In the summer life in and around Croyde centres around the beach, so it is great to be able to extend my patrols to assist the beach community.
"I really enjoy keeping fit, most watersports, cycling and running, but I really had to step it up a gear in order to pass the RNLI lifeguard fitness tests!"
Sergeant Jeff Pearce, Neighbourhood team leader at Braunton Police Station, added:
"I am confident this year's Beach Beat pilot on Croyde will benefit the community and holidaymakers.
"By providing them with an easily accessible and highly visible uniform presence it will help make Croyde beach safer and feel safer and I hope we can find future funding to extend the trial."
RNLI Divisional Lifeguard Manager Phil Hill said the scheme had worked well in Dorset and Cornwall.
"Croyde is a very popular and well known beach which last year received more than 155,000 visitors and the RNLI lifeguards were extremely busy, dealing with 330 incidents and aiding 458 people," he said.
"We are delighted to have Jo with us on the beach, saving the RNLI lifeguards' time and allowing them to concentrate fully on their core responsibilities of saving lives at sea.