Man's ear bitten off in pub brawl

By Stephen Ivall

A MAN'S ear was bitten off in a pub brawl as Falmouth recorded another weekend of violence which included a running fight through the streets.

The ear-biting fracas came during an argument in a pub on Saturday evening. In another incident a man in Market Street was so drunk he fell on his face, knocking himself out.

The disturbances are bound to provoke more calls for a better police presence in Falmouth, which businessmen say is badly in need of a police station of its own.

Police admit fights are now a regular occurrence in the town and that some do not even come to their attention.

They did attend the fracas on Saturday evening and had subsequently interviewed and charged a man following the ear-biting incident.

It happened in the normally quiet Wodehouse public house in Killigrew Street where staff were reluctant to talk about the matter this week. But they admitted there was "considerable blood around".

Det Sgt Tony Parker said the incident took place at about closing time and the injured man was treated in hospital. "It is not a rowdy pub normally," said Det Sgt Parker.

'Post box' adds to village's worries

THE latest move by new age travellers at an illegal camp site near Ponsanooth has angered residents who fear the site could soon become permanent. The travellers have put up their own post box.

But while the box is painted the traditional Post Office red, the Royal Mail refuse to use it.

One of the travellers called Jim said it was hoped it would be used, particularly as it was red. "It would be nice if they did let us use it," he said. "It was done as a joke really."

Two of the travellers hit out at what they called bad publicity, saying the press made them out to be pillagers and rapists whereas they just wanted to get on with their lives.

But villagers in Ponsanooth are still annoyed at the lack of action by the county council in moving the travellers on.

They have repeatedly called for the county council to find them an alternative site despite the plans by county planners for travellers' transit sites being thrown out.

Travellers have been in the county council depot and lay-by and Ponsanooth for three years.

Their numbers have fluctuated but there are now more there than ever.

Following concern over hygiene and the welfare of children on the site they now have water and waste facilities laid on although one traveller said to refill the water tank would cost them more than £400.

In the past the travellers have been known to use a water supply to the local churchyard.

Few residents in the village publicly speak about the travellers although their feelings are well-known.

Falmouth police to try out 'team' system

FALMOUTH police will be working a new experimental system from September this year.

Instead of having a particular officer for a particular place, teams of officers, each under a sergeant, will look after areas. The system is known as Geographical Policing and is part of a general shake-up in the Devon and Cornwall constabulary.

Falmouth, with the exception of the Old Hill area, will be policed by one sergeant and ten officers. Mylor and Flushing, which have their own constable at present, Pc Nick Roberts, will be included in the same area as Penryn and the Old Hill part of Falmouth. This will also be policed by one sergeant and ten officers.

A third area will be that of all the more outlying villages such as Feock, Devoran, Ponsanooth, Gwennap, Bissoe, Carnon Downs, Chacewater, and Kea. This area will be covered by one sergeant and five officers. WPc Kathy Lewis will be the community liaison officer attending parish council meetings and helping with neighbourhood watch schemes and special constables.

She explained: "The officers in the new set-up will work four ten-hour shifts and they will run between the hours of 8am and 3am. These are the busiest hours. The five hours between 8am and 3am will be covered by response cars and another sergeant will be available to supervise them. The whole idea is that there will be more and better cover. Under the existing system, the officer attached to a village works five eight-hour shifts."