Parts of North Devon are to receive extra funding to deal with post-lockdown antisocial behaviour.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez has committed £500,000 for extra support in tourism hotspots across the force area.

Among the 20 areas receiving extra funding are Bideford Quay, Woolacombe Beach and Croyde Bay.

It will be used by police and partners to prevent alcohol related antisocial behaviour following the easing of Government lockdown restrictions.

The funding will be available for four specific purposes: the use of street marshals in busy public spaces at key times; additional CCTV monitoring or systems; temporary toilet facilities, and help for street pastor schemes to promote safe and responsible drinking.

Ms Hernandez said the prospect of welcoming high numbers of tourists from different parts of the UK brings challenges to the police which are likely to be greater as the country recovers from the coronavirus lockdown.

She said: “In a normal year Devon and Cornwall experiences the highest level of domestic visitors in terms of overnight stays and that brings its own challenges for the police.

“But during these unprecedented times, and as we all try to follow the guidelines which help us to recover from the effects of Covid-19 those challenges will be greater and brought into sharp focus.”

North Devon MP Selaine Saxby welcomed the investment during a debate in the House of Commons on July 13, and called on Home Secretary Priti Patel to look at how Covid-related costs can be supported by the Government.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commisioner Alison HernandezDevon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commisioner Alison Hernandez

Ms Patel said the Home Office was in discussions with the Treasury regarding the matter.

She added: “It is inevitable that extra costs have arisen, whether for PPE or the additional hours that police officers have been given. That work is ongoing, but at this point I would like to commend everybody for the great work that they have been doing throughout this crisis.”

Ms Hernandez said: “Selaine’s question keeps up the momentum and ensures that the summer policing challenge faced in Devon and Cornwall remains on the agenda.”

She added: “It is really important for these challenges to be prominent in the minds of Government ministers in London.

“We are already look forwarding to inviting policing minister Kit Malthouse and MPs to our peninsula in the summer so they can see first-hand the challenges we face.”