A delightful seafront walk this afternoon in glorious sunshine. Not unusual in our delightful town with the sunshine record in Britain. What was unusual was spotting something rarer than a golden eagle in the Lake District, ie a policeman patrolling the prom. Was he lost, I wondered?
In all seriousness, my point is this. What the police consider to be very low level crime is exactly what holidaymakers consider offensive. Anti-social behaviour, general yobbishness, rough sleepers, drunks etc.
Now I realise that police budgeting being what it is today, it’s all about results and crime figures first and foremost. I understand that. But consider this. Despite the fact Eastbourne Borough Council promotes us as a young and vibrant town (which, actually, I think it is becoming) if you walk the seafront on a sunny day from Splash Point to the Wish Tower slopes, you will find nearly all the benches occupied by the elderly staying in the seafront coach trip hotels and enjoying the warmth. And why shouldn’t they?
What we don’t want is for them to go home after their hard-earned break and tell their friends: Well, Eastbourne is lovely but there is an awful lot of roughness on the seafront.
What’s the answer in these cost-effective days?
While I’m on my soapbox, consider this. EBC’s own tourism department declared last year’s Airbourne a huge success and one of the best ever. That’s despite the opening Thursday being cancelled due to appalling weather. So if a three-day event is a rip-roaring success, why continue with a four-day format?
The money saved on the opening Thursday would pay for the salaries of two community policemen several times over, who could patrol the seafront every day and keep every holidaymaker happy.
Does anyone think that is money well spent, or am I being naive?
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