North Yorkshire Police urge common sense after string of incidents around Scarborough and Whitby

Police are urging people to "use common sense" following a string of anti-social and dangerous incidents around Scarborough and Whitby.

Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 8:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 8:48 am
Emergency services and volunteer rescue teams at Thomason Foss.

North Yorkshire Police have thanked the people who enjoyed last weekend’s glorious weather responsibly, but say there is a minority who have been "causing issues for the majority of law-abiding people".

Despite a plea last week for people to respect the area, officers were called to disperse more than 200 people who had descended on Thomason Foss near Whitby on Sunday.

Officers sent most home, apart from several families who police said were acting responsibly.

Those told to move included a group who became abusive when asked to extinguish a barbecue.

Police had to return to the beauty spot later that afternoon following reports a 36-year-old man had dived from the top of the waterfall, injured his back and had breathing difficulties.

A full rescue operation had to be launched involving police, mountain rescue volunteers, the coastguard’s search and rescue helicopter, ambulance, the fire and rescue service and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

In total, 29 emergency service and rescue personnel were involved in the operation that ended with the man being airlifted to Hull Royal Infirmary.

Last weekend also saw police having to deal with a number of other incidents including a man carrying out a lewd act on a Scarborough beach.

A 35-year-old man had to be rescued from the sea at Scarborough by the RNLI after running off from officers when he was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated offence.

He was arrested on return to the shore and checked over by ambulance staff before being interviewed by officers.

He has since been released while under investigation.

At Kirkham Priory near Malton, officers were called to an incident where two swimmers had got into difficulty.

They managed to get out of the water and were attended to by ambulance staff.

In addition, a total of 14 fines under the coronavirus regulations were issued over the weekend including overnight stays in second homes and large groups gathering in public areas to drink.

Supt Charlotte Bloxham, North Yorkshire Police’s silver commander for the response to Covid-19, said: “This weekend has seen unprecedented numbers of visitors to local beauty spots and although people were out in numbers, the vast majority of people were acting responsibly and we thank them for their continued efforts.

"However, once again, there have been pockets of anti-social behaviour and other incidents that have placed demand on the emergency services.

"Unfortunately it’s a minority causing issues for the majority of law-abiding people.

"As more restrictions are lifted and we have more freedom to meet one another, it’s now more important than ever that we take personal responsibility and respect local communities.

"We all need to work together to control the virus and while the police cannot enforce social distancing guidance, we urge people to remember that although some of the restrictions have been relaxed, the virus has not gone away, you can still catch it and pass it on to your family and friends.

“The overarching aim of the police response has always been to keep people as safe as possible, and encourage them to follow the regulations, reducing the transmission of the virus to protect lives.

"We’ll continue to play our part and engage with members of the public, explain the regulations and encourage people to adhere to them, using enforcement as a last resort.”

Richard Flinton, Chairman of North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum, added: “I appeal to everyone to take personal responsibility to help us limit the spread of Covid-19 in North Yorkshire by adhering to the very simple actions that we know make a huge difference.

"Stay at least two metres apart from people you don’t live with at all times, wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, and avoid crowds.

"I can not stress enough that we are at a very delicate point in managing the impact of this pandemic and if the rate of infection starts to go up again and the health service is put under pressure – more people we love could die and we could all end up in lockdown again.

"Don’t risk it. It’s just not worth it.

"Please, do the right thing, and plan ahead to limit the spread.”