Parents of secondary school children across Teignbridge have been told not to bring their children to Teignmouth on Friday and Saturday nights.

‘We are asking you not to drop your children down to Teignmouth or support them using public transport on the Friday and Saturday evenings,’ the South Devon and Dartmoor Community Safety Partnership wrote in a letter that was distributed by secondary schools.

‘Please can you remind young people not to get involved in any form of anti-social behaviour, please be aware of their whereabouts and ensure they follow safety advice to keep themselves and their friends safe,’ the letter continued.

The plea comes after increased reports of anti-social behaviour in the town. ‘We are regularly seeing groups of more than 100 young people along Teignmouth seafront meeting on Friday and Saturday evenings whereby drug and alcohol use has been prevalent,’ the letter states.

Traders in the town are becoming increasingly concerned that the increased antisocial behaviour will impact on the town’s economy. ‘There’s no doubt that it’s affecting businesses in the town, especially hospitality,’ said Teignmouth Chamber of Commerce chair Keith Underhill. ‘Holiday makers are becoming frightened of walking along the promenade at dusk because of the number of intimidating youths on the seafront and some residents feel under siege,’ he added. Teignmouth Chamber of Commerce is calling on the council to improve lighting along the seafront and the Den area.

The Community Safety Partnership letter continued: ‘We ask that parents and guardians help us in our efforts to ensure that Teignmouth remains a safe environment for all. With recent reports since mid-April of multiple hospitalisations of young people due to suspected ketamine and MDMA use we must work together to keep young people safe.’

Last week Devon and Cornwall Police vowed to crack down on anti-social behaviour in Teignmouth after it confiscated a large amount of alcohol and ‘dispersed’ groups of youths causing problems in the town over the previous weekend.

In the past few weeks, incidents in Teignmouth have included the theft of mobility scooters, criminal damage, noise and litter issues.

Parents are also being advised to communicate openly with children and set clear expectations for behaviour. The letter directs parents to the free ‘Let’s Talk’ resources, which provide parents and guardians with information and tools to understand more about the challenges young people are facing today. Topics include drugs, alcohol and mental health.’  

Any young people found to be engaged in antisocial behaviour will follow an ‘antisocial behaviour escalation process’, which includes input from schools and the police. This includes warning letters and acceptable behaviour contracts, while criminal acts will be followed up by the police.

The South Devon and Dartmoor Community Safety Partnership is made up of representatives from organisations including Teignbridge District Council, Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and Devon Partnership NHS Trust. It aims to make communities safer places to live and work by reducing crime and antisocial behaviour.