Mankini ban helps improve Newquay's image

image captionThe mankini became famous after being worn by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen

A ban on mankinis and other "inappropriate clothing" in Newquay has helped reduce crime, say police.

Officers said a zero-tolerance approach to risqué fancy dress was helping the Cornish resort shed its reputation as a stag party haven.

Visitors, including teenagers, have been sent home as a result of their anti-social behaviour.

Devon and Cornwall Police said reported crime this summer fell by one-fifth, compared to 2009.

Supt Julie Whitmarsh said: "Mankini is what we term 'offensive clothing', so we won't accept people wearing them. They are just hideous.

"Is it just me, but if you were living in Bath for example, or Bournemouth, is that something you would wear to walk into town on a Saturday afternoon? No."

A mankini is a thong-like male bathing costume. It became famous after being worn by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in his spoof documentary Borat.

'Sense of pride'

The tough approach is part of the award-winning Newquay Safe campaign, which was launched in 2009 following the deaths of two teenagers who died following separate, drink-fuelled nights out.

The campaign has been praised by the Home Office, for involving residents, businesses and local authorities, and for starting a number of anti-crime initiatives.

Reports of anti-social behaviour has dropped from 685 in the summer of 2009 to 286 in 2012.

Mrs Whitmarsh said: "Crime is considerably down and the town is on the cusp of real change.

"It was a very difficult place in 2009. I can understand the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour that the residents had, that is why we have worked very closely with them.

"I think the challenges are to maintain that work and focus to take it forward. We all have a sense of pride in Newquay and the town it wants to become. We won't shy away from dealing with what needs to be dealt with."

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