Inside posh booze-swigging ‘Spring Break’ all-night parties menacing UK beach
A beautiful seaside town got so sick of becoming a 'Spring Break' destination for booze-swigging posh kids that it hire a squad of rangers.
Towering 6ft 4 Polzeath beach ranger Andy Stewart, is a member of the Cornish town's three-person team cracking down on riotous, anti-social behaviour that has been hitting its beach every summer.
In the current fortnight between private schools breaking up for the holidays and state schools, Andy says pupils from the former descend on the town with families.
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While their parents are presumably tucked up in their holiday home beds, rangers are on duty ensuring youngsters aren't partying too hard at the cost of vandalism or smashed glass.
The trio of ex-coppers' crackdown on what Andy describes as the equivalent to Spring Break antics in the US, has been so successful that other councils are now copying the blueprint.
Speaking to the Daily Star after a couple of late nights "making sure everyone's behaving", Andy, 53, said: "I know for a fact that other places in the country suffer in this two week period.
"It's when the private schools break up and they all dash out to various venues around the country and congregate in their groups, which of course is absolutely fine but because there's such a high concentration of them…
"95% of them are really lovely and well-behaved but you will always get a small minority who want to spoil it for others. And that's not just private schools, that's anybody."
Thanks to the efforts of rangers Andy, Charlie and Bev along with collaboration with a local pub security firm and the emergency services, anti-social behaviour on Polzeath beach is waning.
Their strategy as council employees is proving so successful, in fact, that Andy says others are looking to adopt their unique blueprint for cracking down on troublesome teenagers.
Andy said of this time of year: "It happens in America as we know, school's out and they all head to various beaches and have parties.
"We are a tourist destination and for every person that's enjoying a party on the beach, they've got a family somewhere spending money.
"And in Cornwall we recognise and accept that tourism is a major part of our economy and we have to have a certain level of tolerance, so kids blowing off steam after school is out until midnight absolutely fine.
"Breaking bottles on the beach and criminal damage until 4am is not acceptable so we've been able to reach that sweet spot."
The idyllic seaside town's popularity among youngsters apparently boomed with TikTok footage of beach parties. As a result Andy says they're getting less grief on the job as the age of revellers has dropped.
Former police sergeant Andy continued: "The demographic is a bit different this year, I would say 13 to 16. We've had up to 300 on the beach but their behaviour is a lot different, not least because we've been ready for it this year.
"Between the beach rangers, two local police officers and two guys from a security company working at the local pub we've come up with a strategy and pretty much reduced the 'disorder' for want of a better word to pretty much zero.
"The police are proactively going round in the evening and taking alcohol off everybody on the beach, we're making them pick up their litter as they go and we're making sure they keep their music and any chanting down to an acceptable level and then we're clearing the beach at half-past 12 at night.
"We have had a couple of incidents of people who've pushed their luck but it's been quickly dealt with either by the police or security or the rangers."
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Andy insists they're not employed to be party poopers but rather keep everyone happy – day and night.
He added: "If there's anything that compromises what we see as almost paradise then we'll challenge it and late night parties were becoming an issue. Now we've arrived at the perfect community solution for it."
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