Wednesday, 28 Feb 2024

Our seaside village was once safest in UK but now it's riddled with crime – playground is vandalised in vile way | The Sun

RESIDENTS in a beautiful seaside village that was once the safest in the UK say it is now blighted with crime.

The picturesque Boscastle on the North Cornwall coast boasts gorgeous views and an unspoilt harbour which dates back to medieval times which is maintained by the National Trust.

Boscastle itself is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The village is part of the PL35 postcode area which was named as the safest place to live, according to research carried out by Quickmove Properties.

The research found that the postcode, which includes Trevalga, Lesnewth, St Juliot and Beeny, had the lowest crime rate per number of residents of anywhere else in the country.

It found the PL35 postcode had a crime rate of just six crimes per 1,000 residents in 2022.

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The next safest postcode in Cornwall was TR12, covering the Lizard peninsula which has a crime rate of more than triple the Boscastle area.

It remains a popular attraction for tourists along the county’s north coast but residents there say it currently has big problems regarding alleged youth-related crimes.

Locals say there is a rising feeling of unrest in the village following incidents of anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

They say rocks are being thrown at car windows, elderly people are being intimidated and the brand-new playground was smeared with lard.

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Adrian Bright, 62, is the landlord of The Cobweb Inn, which has been in the same family for more than 50 years.

He, his wife Tracy, 58, and their two daughters Katy, 17, and Lily, 18, all work together running the pub.

Tracy told Cornwall Live that the area has seen a rise in alleged youth crime, although the family believe not all the incidents have been reported.

She said: “It’s spates of pulling down walls, upsetting older people, breaking wing mirrors, throwing stones at cars in car parks.”

The family said a group of teenagers seem to have moved into the village and appear to be causing a number of problems in a normally peaceful village, saying it’s “scaring” and “intimidating” the older locals.

Tracy added the local children, who had grown  up in Boscastle, “respect the village”.

She added: “It’s been the last six months really and it is upsetting for the older people up in the village and those being targeted. It’s just not nice.”

The parish council recently spent thousands refurbishing the local park but Tracey said it had recently been smeared with lard and people were having trouble removing it.

Forrabury & Minster Parish Council confirmed the incident in a statement and said it had been reported to the police.

It said: "On Sunday (August 20) a member of the public found the play area equipment vandalised. The swing, slide and climbing bars had been smeared with lard.

"The vandalism has been reported to the police. Fortunately, a local resident cleared the mess up late on Sunday so it should all be usable again."

The parish council also confirmed it had been made aware of "a number" of anti-social behaviour and vandalism acts in recent weeks.

It said: "The Parish Council urges you to report each incident however trivial to the police so they are aware of the issue that is currently facing the community."

Hazel Beetles, 66, who lives at the top of the village and works in Boscastle Pottery, said it was a “real shame” it was happening in Boscastle.

Speaking about the recent spate of crime, she said: "I think it's a real shame they feel they have to do that. But other than that it is very rare that we have trouble from anyone – adults, children or visitors."

Alan Partridge, 84, has lived in the village for 25 years, along with his wife Juanita, and they run the clothing shop The Treasure Chest.

The couple moved from Yorkshire when they retired for a change of pace.

While he said it was quite a thing to hear you’re living in the safest place in the UK it was still a worry for older generations.

He said: "We do have the doctor surgery but we're an hour and a half away from a hospital and when you reach a certain age that is not very safe I suppose.

"It is a big thing to say [the area being the safest in the UK] but I can quite believe it," he added. "The UK is a big place and it's a fair statement."

Neighbourhood Beat Manager Lee Skinner said: “We are aware of an isolated incident of criminal damage where individuals have rubbed lard on play equipment in Boscastle.

“Despite this incident, we are committed in keeping this area as one of the safest in the country. We continue to work with local partners, including local businesses, the harbour master and local councillors.

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“We pride ourselves on the relationship we have with our local community, all of whom look after the area and really care about the place they live.”

The Sun Online has contacted Cornwall Council for comment.

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