CORNISH locals have accused tourists of stealing from busy shops and moan that the influx of punters is like working at a constant “festival”.
Tristan Edge said thieves stole a £800 paddle board and £200 wetsuit from his surf shop in Newquay and described crowds as “manic” and “overwhelming”.
Mr Edge, owns The Boardroom Surfshop, claimed he had never been targeted by shoplifters before and told customers to be “respectful” when visiting Cornwall.
He told ITV’S This Morning: “We have to work twice as hard in the summer – that’s why we’re here.
“The summer vibe is a good vibe, but this year has been extremely demanding and testing for sure.
“Please just be respectful to where you are, the environment and who lives here and just be nice.
Please just be respectful to where you are, the environment and who lives here and just be nice.
“I’ve owned the shop four years now and we never had any equipment stolen.
“We had a £700 paddle board and a £200 wetsuit stolen a few weeks ago, the crime rate has gone up a little bit.”
Brits are flocking to our costal resorts as the coronavirus crisis ruins any chances most had of heading for sunnier climbs abroad.
BENIDORM ON STEROIDS
Locals said the crowds packing out beaches and flooding into shops, cafes and pubs has turned their their coastline into “Benidorm on steroids” with residents too scared to leave their homes.
Mr Edge said business was booming but the constant footfall was like working at a festival.
He explained: “Business is going really well, extremely busy, it is manic.
“It’s good for business, it’s good for the global economy but in the same respect, it’s quite intimidating considering it’s a small town.
“The volume of people, it’s like Boardmasters every week. We have one really busy week where we have an influx of 60,000 or 70,00 people for a music festival. It’s overwhelming to be honest.”
The volume of people, it’s like Boardmasters every week.
Mr Edge said the situation was causing frustration for holidaymakers and locals alike.
He added: “I think there are people who want to come away to get away and forget what’s going on, and then you have those who want to come to Cornwall.
“And then there’s those who don’t want to and want to be abroad and are frustrated they can’t get over there and do their normal things.
“And because it’s so warm and people are on top of each other, that creates frustration across the board.”
Street marshals have been patrolling hotspots in Cornwall after “stampedes” of visitors were seen not social distancing, despite warning signs being put in place.
Last week Boris Johnson urged Brits to enjoy staycations in the UK, however, the reaction hasn’t been received well by everyone.
It makes me very uneasy to go out with my two young kids.
Claire Harris, 37, from St Ives, who manages holiday lets, said her family was “too scared to go food shopping.”
Vicky White, from Newyln, said: “It makes me very uneasy to go out with my two young kids.
“It is sad for residents to not be able to enjoy where they live.”
Royden Paynter, harbour master at Mousehole, said: “Suddenly we’ve been hit with a stampede.
“Everybody is a bit more stressed this year – they don’t move out of your way.”
Cornwall relies on tourism – and the sector contributes millions of pounds to its economy every year.
Malcolm Bell from Visit Cornwall said: “It seems busier than ever but we are actually below the normal peak levels”.
The posh coastal town of Salcombe in neighbouring Devon has also become overrun with tourists.
Thousands of holidaymakers and second home owners flocked back to the resort from the moment the green light was given by the government to travel at the beginning of July.
The town council say the huge influx has also led to an increase in anti-social behaviour.
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Cllr Caroline Bricknell – “It’s extremely busy, unfortunately some people are ruining it for everyone else.
“All holiday makers get tarred with the same brush which isn’t fair, some of the people who come here are great but what the others are doing is causing bad feelings in the town with local people.
“It seems to be more problematic this year, I think because they can’t go to Spain or Ibiza or anything else.”
Tourists pack out the streets of Salcombe in Devon[/caption]