Western Morning News

Police step in to move visitor ‘taking advantage’ of pandemic


POLICE have removed an unwelcome visitor who camped his van in a Newquay beauty spot in a bid to “take advantage” of the current pandemic.

The van was not deemed to be roadworthy, and did not have a valid MOT certificat­e.

Officers approached the van owner, who was camped on Riverside Avenue in Pentire, and gave him an opportunit­y to arrange for the van to be moved. When the man failed to take action, police had the camper towed away.

Some of the other street campers who were parked in the same bay also appear to have moved on.

Joanna Kenny, the Cornwall and town councillor for Newquay Pentire, said people are trying to take advantage of the current crisis.

“There is a real difference between people forced to camp out because of genuine homelessne­ss and those who just fancy a bit of free camping near Fistral and the Gannel,” she said.

“There are absolutely no facilities to support such camping; no bathroom or toilet facilities and the local litter bin quickly gets filled up with campers’ rubbish so locals and walkers cannot even dispose of their doggy bags.

“Street camping has always been a problem in Pentire as the weather gets better and I constantly need to extend anti-camping protection to more and more bays; but some people think that at this time of crisis they can get away with it.”

One of the campers was in genuine need of help, and has now been assisted to find more suitable accommodat­ion by Cornwall Council.

“A couple of vehicles were quite legitimate­ly parked, and the rest were clearly camping with no attempt as social distancing,” Ms Kenny said. “I think these may be the ones who decided to tempt fate by putting up signs implying the police had approved them.”

Police do not have the legal power to move people on from street camping - unless the vehicle owner does not have the appropriat­e documentat­ion. “But they can make a real nuisance of themselves by constantly knocking up and questionin­g the campers about non-essential travel,” Ms Kenny added.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom