'Completely irresponsible' - police blast pair for pitching tent on dangerous Staithes clifftop

Police have fined two campers who pitched up their tent dangerously close to a Yorkshire Coast cliff edge known for landslips.

By Sarah Fitton
Monday, 1st March 2021, 1:02 pm
The campers with their tent on Staithes clifftops.
Picture: Alistair Smith
The campers with their tent on Staithes clifftops. Picture: Alistair Smith

The pair and a young child had spent the night camped near Port Mulgrave, near Staithes, on the Cleveland Way.

Police were alerted at 1.30pm on Saturday by HM Coastguard who had received a report from a member of the public concerned about the precarious location of a tent.

A 27-year-old woman from Doncaster and a 30-year-old man from Middlesbrough both received fixed penalty notices for contravening a requirement to not leave or be outside their place of living.

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Coastguards and police also gave words of advice over the dangers of where they had chosen to pitch the tent and the risks they and the child they were with could have faced.

“Everyone is aware of the current restrictions that are in place to stay at home to stop the spread of Covid-19," said a spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police.

"So to travel from Middlesbrough and Doncaster with the intention to camp overnight is obviously a clear breach of the regulations.

But to then choose to pitch a tent in such a dangerous location is completely irresponsible.

“Not only were the individuals involved risking their own safety and the safety of the child who was with them, if a landslide had occurred, they would also be risking the lives of the emergency services who would attend the resulting incident.

“Our thanks go to the member of the public who reported their concerns and to our coastguard colleagues who also attended.

"Their actions may have averted a completely preventable tragedy.

“The pandemic is not over and Covid-19 still presents a risk to public health.

"Lockdown restrictions are still in place to stop the spread, so we must keep on adhering to the rules to protect all of our chances of moving out of lockdown.”

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