Council working closely with local police to help beat beach hut crime in Seaton

East Devon District Council’s StreetScene team is taking positive steps towards cracking down on criminal damage to beach huts by proactively working with officers from the Seaton Neighbourhood Policing Team to inform beach hut owners on different ways to protect their huts.

A meeting has already taken place on 6 June 2016 between beach hut owners and StreetScene’s Tim Harris, together with PCSOs Mike McGauley and Chris Bolsover on the Esplanade in Seaton.

The beach hut owners were shown different types of technology that can be used to help improve security, including a new portable mini motion detector, which can be put inside beach huts. The detector sends a text message to pre-programmed numbers when it picks up movement. An alarm lock was also demonstrated and owners were given useful leaflets containing tips on how to prevent intruders gaining easy access to beach huts.

Both the council’s and the police’s main message to the owners is not to leave anything valuable in their huts. Signs will be put up by East Devon and the Police to warn people that security devices are in use.

Tim Harris, Area Manager East for StreetScene, said:

We take the issue of security in beach huts extremely seriously and we want to ensure that our beach hut owners have reasonable peace of mind that their huts are as safe as can possible. We also want anyone intent on causing damage or stealing from the huts to know that their actions will be recorded on CCTV, which we have installed. This will help Police to identify them and bring them to justice.

PCSO Mike McGauley said:

Last year we had a number of incidents of criminal damage to the huts and we are keen to ensure that there is not a repeat this year. We have been in touch with East Devon District Council and will be working together to help the owners to take steps to protect their property.

PCSO Chris Bolsover added:

We would ask beach hut owners not to keep anything valuable in the huts. Anyone found stealing from or causing damage to the huts will be dealt with robustly.

PC Rich Jenkins said that local officers will be carrying out regular patrols in the area.

Tracey Bigwood from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service was also present on 6 June. Tracey Bigwood gave out some useful tips on fire safety and talked to people about arranging Home Fire Safety Checks - if members of the public would like to arrange one, please call 0800 05 02 999.

For further information, to report any suspicious activity or just to get in touch with local officers, please call 101 or email them at seaton@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk.