Napoli: police were ineffective

PUBLISHED: 16:42 01 November 2008 | UPDATED: 09:57 10 June 2010

I write in response to the front page story in the Journal s sister newspaper, the Exmouth Herald, with reference to the Napoli chaos. I felt very sorry for the residents in the unwelcome disruption to their beautiful village of Branscombe.

I write in response to the front page story in the Journal's sister newspaper, the Exmouth Herald, with reference to the Napoli chaos.

I felt very sorry for the residents in the unwelcome disruption to their beautiful village of Branscombe.

There is no doubt the numbers visiting Branscombe at this time were not all totally blighted with the greed that was shown on the national television. There were those visiting or sight-seeing and, no doubt, would have enhanced all local businesses in one form or another.

The chaos which enveloped the community could have been totally avoided and indeed could have turned what was chaos into something positive for the community and its businesses.

Here, I felt, was an ideal opportunity for the newly appointed Chief Constable, Stephen Otter, to take charge of a potentially major disaster.

Had the beach and road been closed to all but necessary traffic at the early stages, the message that looting from the beach was banned would have been "advertised" by the media nationally, instead of the adverse publicity which created a tide of unwanted beach scavengers.

Other emergency and local services have been, quite rightly, praised for their actions through out this difficult period.

The public hearing in November will, I hope, highlight the police's ineffective handling of this incident at its early stages and encourage a positive message to those concerned as to what is required for any possible future disaster in our region.

R P Franks,

226a Withycombe Village Road, Exmouth.

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