Police Say They Don’t Have Power To Move Rough Sleepers

porthcressa beach newSt Mary’s Police say they don’t have powers to move people on who are sleeping rough on the beach.

Some locals have complained to officers in the last week after seeing people living in the open on St Mary’s and the off-islands.

Maggie Perkovic says she contacted police after she tackled a man sleeping out on Porthcressa. She spoke to the man and she says he was indignant at being criticised.

Sergeant Colin Taylor says there’s nothing the Police can do. He says that every year people come to the islands without any accommodation booked and many don’t come to the attention of residents.

He says the arguments that he has heard, that the Police should “abuse their responsibilities” and force people to leave against their will are “tiresome”.

But he believes there are only a few people who believe that is acceptable. There is, in law, no difference between a person sleeping rough in Scilly or Penzance, he says.

But Colin warns that locals should not become antagonistic with people who are not doing anything wrong, as they could put themselves at risk unnecessarily.

Occasionally some do exhibit behaviour that causes concern, he says, and the Police are often notified. He welcomes this and would try to find the person and speak with them.

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