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Tomorrow (Friday 2 April) marks the launch of our dedicated policing response to the increased footfall expected up and down Southsea seafront and neighbouring areas in Portsmouth this summer.
Operation Nautical will see officers working alongside a number of our partners within the city and increasing patrols in areas where there is the potential for higher rates of anti-social behaviour as the weather gets warmer and government restrictions begin to ease.
Currently under the Health Protection Regulations the rule of six or two households meeting outdoors applies.
Police in Portsmouth will work alongside Hampshire’s Marine Unit, Motiv8, Active Communities Network, Portsmouth City Council wardens, Ministry of Defence police, Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, street pastors in the city, local councillors, businesses and our local residents on a joined up response to a safe return to socialising outdoors.
Operation Nautical will cover the seafront from Old Portsmouth to Eastney, as well as parks within the city and Southsea Common, however officers will continue to monitor reports from all areas as they come into us.
Our neighbourhood policing teams will be upping patrols in these areas, engaging with members of the public to ensure everyone is staying safe over the summer period.
We will also be working closely alongside our partners to ensure that our communities feel safe this summer.
Portsmouth South Inspector, Louise Tester, said: “With the weather warming up and the government’s current road map out of lockdown allowing for increased outdoor interaction, we know we will see higher footfall in our popular outdoor spaces, including Southsea seafront and the common.
“We want our communities to feel safe as they begin to venture out more often and we are pleased that Operation Nautical will help to give people that reassurance.
“We will have dedicated resources patrolling these summer hot spots each day, offering reassurance to our communities and deterring anti-social behaviour.
"It’s been a long time since we’ve all been able to meet with small groups of friends and family outdoors, and this will no doubt provide a welcome boost to many of us after what has been a very long and difficult winter.
“While we want people to enjoy being able to gather with friends and family again, we ask them to do it safely while abiding by the regulations and remembering the rule of six or the two household rule when meeting outdoors.
“Our officers will continue to engage, explain and encourage in the first instance, however enforcement action will be taken for blatant or repeated regulation breaches.”
“We urge the public to stay safe and continue treating eachother with respect and patience as we move through the roadmap as laid out by the government.”
Richard Lee, Regulatory Services Manager at Portsmouth City Council, said:
"As coronavirus restrictions gradually ease and the weather warms up, we're pleased that people will be able to get outside and enjoy everything the seafront has to offer with their friends and families.
"We want to make sure people feel safe when they visit the seafront and we're asking people to keep following social distancing guidance and keep sticking to the rules around gatherings, to help protect others.
"We'll be working closely with businesses on the seafront to make sure they have the right safety measures in place and community advisors will also be on hand during busy times for people to speak to if they have any queries or concerns while they're visiting the seafront.
"Our covid business compliance officers, community advisors and community wardens will be working closely with the police throughout the summer season to make sure the seafront can be enjoyed safely by the whole community."
If you have any concerns regarding any crime in these areas over the summer, do come and speak to one of our patrolling officers or call us on 101.
Pictured: Representatives from Hampshire Constabulary Police, Hampshire Marine Police, Motiv8, Active Communities Network and the Portsmouth City Council Wardens.