POLICE patrolling one of the busiest beaches on the South Coast at Camber Sands have been equipped with a new uniform to help make them more visible.
More than 30,000 sun seekers have crammed onto the beach during this summer’s heatwave leading to a rise in the number of incidents of theft and lost children.
In August 2010 officers were issued with bright yellow caps paid for by the Safer Rother Partnership to make them more visible.
Following feedback from those patrolling the beach Rother District Commander, Chief Inspector Katy Woolford, has decided to go one step further by supplying officers with their own unique beach uniform.
The officers, who spend a lot of their time searching for lost children, dealing with first aid incidents, parking issues and general high visibility foot patrol, have been issued with white polo shirts, white caps and black shorts.
The caps and shirts read ‘police’ and ‘Operation Radcott’, the name given to Camber’s summertime safety operation run by Rother District Council and Rother Neighbourhood Policing Team.
The shorts are a first for police in Camber.
Chief Inspector Woolford said: “On a busy day Camber beach can attract 25,000 to 30,000 people. Our officers spend a large amount of their time patrolling with Rother District Council’s Beach Patrols ensuring that all using the beach are doing so safely.
“With the recent heat wave spending so much time out in the sun in normal police uniform just didn’t seem practicable so with our officer’s health and safety and visibility in mind the decision was made to give them these new uniforms, put together by Clare Wilkinson of ‘Smart Stitches’.
“I think they look great, really stand out on the beach and most importantly will mean our officers are able to offer an even better service in lighter, more durable uniforms.”
Police at Camber sands play a vital role in keeping people safe and co-ordinating rescue attempts from the shore.
Work they have carried out includes reuniting lost children with parents, treating weaver fish stings and, in one case, freeing a man who had become buried alive after digging a tunnel in the sand.
This summer has seen a spate of thefts from the beach, especially of expensive mobile phones and police are warning beach-users not to leave their phones unattended or in plain view.
Children should not use inflatables when there is an off-shore breeze.