Boys in blue 'making a difference' along coast

Skegness Street Wardens Dale Fox and Joshua Lowe.
Skegness Street Wardens Dale Fox and Joshua Lowe.

Two new 'boys in blue' along the coast are seeking out grot spots and keeping visitors on their toes.

Dale Fox and Joshua Lowe could easily be mistaken for police officers in their official blue uniforms with vests displaying Street Warden in bold letters across the back.

"People soon move their cars or get off their bikes when they see us coming," said Dale, a former housing officer dealing with anti-social behaviour in Doncaster and, prior to that, a joiner.

It's just six weeks since they were appointed by the Lincolnshire Coastal BID - and already they are making a difference.

Dale and Joshua could turn up anywhere along the coast from Gibraltar Point to Tetney - and no day is the same.

Their job description is extensive, from being a visible presence on the streets within the area to acting as the eyes and ears of the BID, reporting anything outside the usual activity to the appropriate authority.

They also check problem areas or hot spots and liaise with the relevant agencies and CCTV control room.

To prepare for this they have undergone training with Lincolnshire Police and will soon be armed with body cams as well as radios.

In addition to these duties they enhance the service provided by street cleaning teams, making sure the area looks clean and welcoming and act as ambassadors for the area.

"I used to get bored really easily but I don't now," said Joshua from Wainfleet, a former fairground ride maker for Jolly Roger. "We could be in Skegness in the morning and then in Mablethorpe. No two days are the same and I really like that."

Keeping the area looking clean and tidy often involves getting out a paint brush and doing some repair work,

Recent projects include clearing out the bus shelter near Southview Leisure Park which was badly littered and flyposted and cleaning up phone boxes - often used a makeshift toilets following the closure of facilities by East Lindsey District Council.

"People are telling us what a difference we are making and we enjoy that," that Dale.

Their former skills have also come in useful, having installed benches along a stretch of promenade at Winthorpe. "It's really opened it up for elderly people especially now," said Dale. "They can now have a stroll and sit down for a rest and then go a little further."

Other projects include cleaning up a Sutton on Sea shelter that had been used by the homeless. "It looks so much better now," said Dale. "A bit of paint doesn't cost a lot but it can make a huge difference."

Surveys are also a big part of their job - and for the most part they have been very positive..

"People love the beaches and remark how clean everywhere is. We know we are making a difference and that makes it all worthwhile."

With the main holiday season over, Dale and Joshua are looking forward to tackling more jobs - and will soon have a new van equipped with tools, leaf blowers, jet washer and graffiti removers.. "There is some weeding needs doing in the car parks and some paint jobs," said Dale "We are never short of things that need our attention and we just love it."