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Devon and Cornwall police force men to write grovelling apology letters after caught throwing empty bottles into the sea

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: August 14, 2014

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FOUR “idiotic” men were forced to write letters of apology to the people of Newquay after being caught throwing empty alcohol bottles into the sea.

Residents watched from their windows as the group of lads, who had come to the town for the Boardmasters festival, began to throw bottles from the cliff top at Lusty Glaze at around 6pm on Saturday while making their way back to the site.

After a call to the police, Sergeant Regie Butler caught up with four of the group, who aren’t local and are believed to be in their early twenties, before deciding to make them write letters of apology to the residents.

“It’s just idiotic and unbelievable, really; they thought it would be fun and hadn’t even thought of the possible consequences,” Sergeant Butler said, “so we were sat there thinking what we could do them for, and checked to see if anything had landed on the beach, because if it had we could have got them to clean the beach.

“We found bottles out in the sea, so it was a minor offence for littering. We thought the most appropriate thing would be for the lads to write letters of apology, so we sent them away with the bits of paper and told them to drop them into the police station by 3pm the next day, which they did.

“We told them we’d be out hunting for them if they didn’t.”

One letter read: “I am sorry for all of our actions and it was also very inconsiderate, we will be sure to never act so stupid again and I regret what happened.” Another said: “To whom this may concern, I am extremely sorry the incident occoured (sic). It was just a moment of madness”, while another wrote: “All apologies go to all residents around the area for disturbing them”.

One acknowledged that he would not have committed the offence in his own local area: “It is something I would not have done in my own town and I am genuinely deeply sorry for bottles being thrown in the sea while sitting on the local cliffs,” he said.

Sergeant Butler said he highlighted the dangers of their actions to the young men.

“Actions like this can have a huge impact. In the first instance it’s ruining the coast, which is a beautiful part of the world where we don’t want rubbish,” he said.

“Secondly, there’s the danger side; when the bottles wash up people can tread on them and suffer serious injury, and then thirdly there is the danger to the marine wildlife.

“Hopefully it made them think about everything we told them and will have had more of an impact than anything else we could have done.”

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