POLICE boss Tony Hogg has said drink and drug use is putting pressure on overstretched resources on Torquay harbourside.
The Devon and Cornwall police commissioner joined officers in a Saturday night patrol in Torwood Street at the heart of Torquay's pubs and clubs land.
He joined Supt Nikki Leaper and Insp Lou Costin from midnight until 5am. He has concerns about cars speeding in Torwood Street, overflowing litter bins and just one public loo open on the other side of the harbour from pubs and clubs.
Mr Hogg said: "There's quite a lot of designer drugs being used which is a very heavy load for the police to deal with that. I visited the custody suite with nine members of the public in there with issues like ABH, drunk and disorderly behaviour.
"What interests me is the load on police through the late night economy. The question is how long through the night do you go on drinking and how easy is it to pre load and stack up before the night even starts.
"Are pubs and clubs acting responsibly serving people who have already had too much to drink? It takes courage and determination to say to people 'I think you've had enough'.
"It puts pressure on police and A&E and we just can't afford it, frankly."
Torquay has retained its Purple Flag for the quality of its night life this year. Mr Hogg said there are increasing demands on a stretched number of officers, the NHS, Torbay Council and volunteer group Street Pastors.
He met with street pastors to see how they support drunk and disorientated clubbers.
He also met with Susie Colley, chairman of the neighbourhood plan, to discuss issues including litter and the loos.
Mr Hogg said it was inevitable with a large group of young people some would be worse for wear.
But he said: "They were very well managed considering the number of police available in the Bay area and South Devon.
"I think there was one sergeant and five or six officers.
"I know they are stretched and I think that cover in Brixham and Paignton was a bit lean that night.
"But that is up to the Bay to decide where it wants its police and how much the public can play its part."
He praised the street pastors but was concerned about the speed of the cars in the middle of the night.
Mrs Colley said that she was impressed with Mr Hogg's approach.
She said: "My estimation of him is high."
Mr Hogg met with Street Pastors, including Ros Ede and club managers.
He said: "I was very impressed with the professionalism shown by the police. I was particularly interested to meet the street pastors and councillors who were determined to play their part in establishing the right environment for Torquay."