Holiday camp guest antics – when are the camp responsible?

We are in the midst of an adult weekend. 80’s to be exact and usually they are a great bunch, unlike the 90’s lot last weekend which involved streaking naked across the beach (grown men) whilst families enjoyed family time, someone flashing in town and other such behaviour. I felt sorry for the local supermarkets who had a hard time with them.

Yesterday was no better. Usually the 80’s crowd come to have a good time, party well but they support the town, spend a lot of money in the shops and are just a little livelier than normal. These weekends often attract hen and stag dos and I think it was a stag party that caused us some bother yesterday.

My friend is the manager of a charity shop adjacent to my shop. She came running in, a bit shaky, to tell me of a group of 6 guys who had just come into her shop causing havoc. They’d tried on dresses and hats but wouldn’t let the assistant look at the price tag whilst wearing said clothing, without yelping that she was attacking them and someone call the police.

Next minute, one of them wets himself and strips off his kit (which is a pvc outfit I might add) in the middle of the shop. Another one barged through the door that says ‘Private – Staff Only’, out through the back door into our joint delivery area and proceeds to urinate against the back door of my shop! Naturally she came to inform me of this deed.

We have a Radio Link in the town which means participating businesses have a radio connected to ‘comms’ allowing all of us to report this kind of activity and of course any theft. Comms are connected to local beat police and town CCTV who can find and follow any perpetraitors of such activity.

I got straight onto comms, reported the incident and they got straight onto the police and CCTV whereupon the group in question were located and followed through town. At this point, all particiating businesses on the high street were then on the radio reporting where this crowd were. The CCTV came back to say they’d seen the group with a glass display head which I was asked to check with my friend if it had been stolen from her shop. Yes it had.

Eventually the crowd reached the next pub where the display head was taken off them. At this point, the holiday camp security had been alerted who asked if the group should be thrown off site of just given a final warning. The latter was chosen. So imagine, you’ve paid say £400 for accommodation for the weekend (giving you access to all facilities and entertainment on site), then you have to buy food plus your travel down there and it doesn’t make for a cheap weekend.

A final warning means one more misdemeanour and you’re off. If resort security decide you’re leaving, they don’t care what time of day or night it is, how drunk or sobre you are, if you’ve contravened the rules, you are escorted to your accommodation, watched whilst you pack and escorted out the front gate. You are then banned for life. This has been known to happen on a friday not long after arriving. One taxi driver was asked to take someone home to Southampton at 3am because he’d been kicked off site.

The town would not survive without the holiday camp, it’s that simple. They bring in huge revenue to the town from tourists and of course provide a lot of employment. But when should the camp take responsibility for what guests do off campus?  Well they do and they take it quite seriously.

For example: a recent sports even involvng under 16’s teams resulted in some of the kids throwing eggs round town at cars and property. The teams were warned beforehand that any bad behaviour would result in being expelled from the site which did indeed happen.

It’s my contention though that whilst I applaud the camps’ stance, what their guests do off campus is not directly their responsibility. In the case of this weekend, they are grown adults (supposedly!) who should take responsibility for their own actions. Legally, pubs are not supposed to serve people who are beyond drunk but I guess if you’re still upright, talking and moving without assistance, you aren’t beyond drunk.

Should the pubs refuse them service, especially when they have caused aggro in town beforehand? Should the town take a stronger stance as a community and ban them from the town? I know that’s quite extreme but there are families here with young children, both residents and holidaymakers, and none of them (or anyone else for that matter) needs to witness that kind of behaviour whilst going about their daily business.

My friend and her staff were a little shaken up for quite a while. They are not on the radiolink but after yesterday, I’ve advised her to press her boss about participating because she could have called for immediate assistance from police via comms, I would have heard her pleas for help and could have gone next door for support.

All the fun of a seaside town eh?



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