POLICE in Bridlington believe that the town is one of the first seaside resorts in the country to offer tourists a personalised welcome from a local bobby.
As part of a new initiative launched by the police in partnership with the Bridlington Tourism Association and East Riding Council’s Renaissance Team, a letter from a neighbourhood police officer will be included in welcome packs in hotels and guest houses across the town.
The letter introduces the local PC covering the area of the hotel, offering a friendly welcome and advice on how tourists can avoid crime and stay safe during their stay.
Insp Grant Taylor, head of Bridlington’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We live in a safe town, but it is useful for our Neighbourhood PCs to be able to introduce themselves to tourists.
“What we want to do is make visitors feel comfortable about approaching police officers and PCSOs if they have any problems, or for advice.
“It has been a multi-agency approach and is something that we think will really benefit people who visit our town, as the letter also offers crime prevention advice and details about the cop shop on Quay Road. It is about people feeling safe when they come to Bridlington.”
PC Chris Prendergast is one of the PCs involved in the scheme.
“Getting out and about is the best part of our job and if people recognise me from the letter, then it can only be a good thing as you can build up more of a rapport – especially if tourists are here to enjoy a night out,” said PC Prendergast.
“We are more than happy to speak to tourists and residents alike, give them advice, and try and sort out any problems they bring to us.”
Bob Hillery, president of the Bridlington Tourism Association, has also backed the plans, which will see hotels and guest houses include the letter in their welcome packs.
“It is a brilliant idea, and one that the tourism association really supports,” said Mr Hillery.
“It’s not about police expecting trouble, it is a friendly approach and one that I think guests will appreciate.
“We get people commenting that they feel safe in Bridlington when they come to stay, they enjoy a walk on an evening. They lock their doors at 6pm and stay in for the night when they are at home. This will only make people feel safer.”
Denise Cowling, of East Riding’s Renaissance team, said Bridlington’s Neighbourhood Team are “great ambassadors” for the police force.
She said: “We are glad to advocate how friendly our neighbourhood police team are, and I think this letter is a great idea.
“It is not always about combatting crime, police can help guests and give advice. We are lucky our neighbourhood officers already do that.”