Crackdown on antisocial behaviour on Dartmoor
The majority of visitors to Dartmoor cause no damage or concern.
Dartmoor rangers have been given body-worn cameras to record antisocial behaviour by visitors. Staff on patrol in the national park were issued with the bodycams as part of a trial that started in February 2022, after some were verbally abused, chased, flashed and, in one instance, threatened with a mallet.
The cameras have also been used by rangers confronting revellers at an outdoor rave and to gather evidence of trail bikes damaging the moor.
The £8,000 pilot scheme has been hailed a success, with the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) giving rangers permission to use them permanently.
John Howell, chairman of the Dartmoor Commons Owners Association, said: “The majority of visitors to Dartmoor are completely peaceful and cause no damage beyond tramping the ground. However, there are frequently groups, sometimes quite large, who cause significant disturbance, and damage to property and the environment. They are often fired up with alcohol or drugs, and in quite remote locations. Challenging them alone can be worrying — as an owner I have had to do so many times — so the protection of a bodycam is very sensible.”