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Number of tickets for overnight camping in Newquay beauty spots double as local community joins forces with Civil Enforcement Officers

Newquay’s Civil Enforcement officers have responded to residents’ concerns about overnight parking in local beauty spots, doubling the number of Penalty Charge Notices issued on last year.

Overnight parking restrictions were brought in on many roads in Newquay to tackle an increase in people camping in their vans for extended periods – but many drivers still ignore the restrictions. 

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As lockdown measures eased, members of the Newquay Safe partnership voiced concerns over the potential for an increase in overnight parking due to reduced campsite capacity and a predicted increase in staycations.

The partnership, which is made up of representatives from the police and other statutory and voluntary partners, tackles community safety issues raised by residents.

Inconsiderate parking can hamper the emergency services. It also creates obstacles for essential medicine deliveries, for health worker and carer visits to the vulnerable, and can slow down lifeboat crew callouts.

Cornwall Council’s civil enforcement officers (CEOs) set about engaging with Newquay Safe partners and those who fell foul of the local parking restrictions. Residents and local groups were encouraged to report cases of overnight camping and when notified, officers would attend. 

As a result, 466 penalty charge notices were issued in July and August, compared with 223 on the previous year.

Ticketing 'is a last resort'

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said: “Ticketing is not about generating money for the Council. It’s usually a last resort designed to penalise those who will not adhere to the laws in place. Our goal is to stop people parking where they shouldn’t - and wherever possible, our CEOs will ask drivers to move on, rather than issue a ticket.

“While the increase in ticketing can be put down to several factors, it’s clear that working with the local community meant our CEOs could be in the right place at the right time. I hope that the message filters through and we see less people breaking the rules and causing an inconvenience to others.”

Inspector Guy Blackford, Devon and Cornwall Police sector inspector for Newquay, said “It has been pleasing that we have not seen a repeat of the levels of anti-social behaviour at Little Fistral this summer. The increased patrols undertaken by the CEOs has sent a clear message to those who continue to ignore the restrictions that their actions will not be tolerated and as a consequence reports of unacceptable behaviour has been significantly down.”