Police at Apex Park, Highbridge

Police have this week thanked local people after saying the number of breaches to Covid restrictions in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge is low compared to some other areas.

During an update to town councillors at a virtual meeting this week, Neighbourhood Sergeant Joe Piscina of Avon and Somerset Police said local officers are “very busy” across the area during the ongoing pandemic.

He said: “Since we’ve gone into this third lockdown, here in Somerset West we are dealing with an extra 2,500 calls, mainly for Covid related breaches, and so demand is really, really high.”

“That said, though, I’m really pleased to say Burnham and Highbridge as a community is really pulling together and we’re not noticing many breaches here.”

Sergeant Piscina, pictured, added: “We’re putting in extra patrols around beauty spots such as Burnham beach. We have noticed some people from out of town coming in and we are really trying to keep a hold on that. The virus numbers are coming down but we are interested to make sure there’s no spread, which is one of our main tasks at the moment.”

He also noted that local crime figures are down across the Burnham-On-Sea area: “One good thing in terms of crime is that while our rural areas often get hit hard for burglaries at this time of year, that’s dropped off. We have seen an 80% drop because people are at home.”

He added that two new sergeants have started work in the Burnham area and that new PCSOs are being introduced “every week” following a recent recruitment drive.

Cllr Bill Hancock raised concerns about the ongoing issues surrounding travellers visiting the area to which Sergeant Piscina said this is one of the local priorities.

Cllr Andy Hodge added that “motorists seem to have forgotten speed limits during the lockdown… there is an accident is going to happen.”

Sergeant Piscina responded: “We have put patrols in areas where we have seen traffic problems, particularly speeding. If anyone has specific problem areas, please get in contact with the local team and we will step up patrols.”

Mayor Cllr Mike Facey thanked local Police for all their work during recent months.


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