POLICE say they are carrying out patrols at Forest beauty spots after complaints from locals about tourists - even though people have every right to visit the area.
Gloucestershire Police say they are “proactively engaging with tourists and residents to encourage safe and responsible behaviour in line with Coronavirus guidelines”.
Superintendent Jane Probert of the Forest and Gloucester Local Policing Area said: “Gloucestershire Constabulary is continuing to take part in patrols around the county this weekend as in recent weeks local communities have raised concerns about tourists going to a number of beauty spots.
“In response to local concerns, Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been conducting patrols and proactively engaging with tourists and residents to encourage safe and responsible behaviour in line with Coronavirus guidelines.
“One area that has seen a heightened number of visitors is the Forest of Dean which has a number of attractions such as cycling centres and hiking venues.
“These patrols will also supplement the current approach to our Operation Switch anti-burglary campaign and Rural Crime Week of Action, both of which started this week and aim to provide crime prevention to those living in both urban and rural areas of the county.
“There has also been a national rise in bike thefts recently and this is something that is also being focused on due to cycling being one reason for tourists to visit Gloucestershire.
“We continue to welcome tourists to visit The Forest of Dean and other areas of the county with officers following the 4Es approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging people to follow the Coronavirus guidelines whilst using enforcement where necessary if people are knowingly flouting the law and putting lives at risk.
“It is important to stress that the vast majority of people are abiding by the rules but in line with our policing approach, we will take action where there are flagrant breaches.”