Police deny claims Perranporth's troubled by alcohol-fuelled crime
POLICE are hitting back over claims that Perranporth is attracting drunks and becoming rowdy at night.
The officers responded to a report in last Week's West Briton in which local businesses, including publicans, claimed there was a rise in under-age drinking and street brawls during the summer.
It followed the stabbing of a 25-year-old during a street fight and the smashing of two shop windows, causing damage that cost more than £2,000 to repair.
It was feared that Newquay's successful campaign clamping down on alcohol-fuelled violence and accidents had led to more trouble in Perranporth.
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But Inspector Mark Richards from Truro dismissed the fears saying: "There is virtually no difference between the level of reported incidents this year and last year. There was a stabbing and a couple of windows were smashed but these are not indicative of a serious problem in Perranporth."
Last year the total number of reported crimes for Perranporth, including violent behaviour, assaults and minor offences were 26. This year it was 28.
PCSO Richard Hill, who covers the area along with two other PCSOs and PC Roger Brierley, based in St Agnes, said the stabbing had "tarnished" people's view of the resort and "hijacked" the season.
He said: "The perceptions of crime in Perranporth are a lot worse than the reality. This year I seized eight cans of lager from an 18-year-old who was with a crowd of youngsters.
"There was no trouble, it was just a precaution. I returned them to his parents the next day. I also caught two 15-year-olds with some vodka and Red Bull. I confiscated the drinks and contacted their parents.
"There are a lot of kids hanging about the boating lake and clock tower but they are OK, they're just bored and want somewhere to hang out."
He said there was no evidence that people were coming in from Newquay, an area he used to patrol.
"I kept telling people that the stabbing was a one-off incident but it seemed to hijack the whole season, it was all people focused on."
He admitted under-age drinking has been a problem in the past year but that had been stamped out during a campaign targeting local children and off-licences.
As a result in August 2011 two 18-year-old local men, who had been supplying alcohol to children, were given an £80 fixed-penalty notice and banned from local pubs for 12 months under the Pubwatch scheme.
PCSO Hill said police cover is provided from 8am to 10pm each night – although with a 127-square mile patch he couldn't respond to every call.
"The kids are there but they're not drinking alcohol like they were. They know the police and are respectful. It's a cracking place to work and I do feel that we are making a difference."
Inspector Richards is meeting members of Perranzabuloe Parish Council on November 26 where he is expected to explain policing figures and coverage.