Businesses in Helston are being urged to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour in order to "help make the town centre a more welcoming place to visit."

The call has come from West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas, following an idea raised at a recent Business Forum meeting attended by Inspector Ian Thompson of the Falmouth and Helston police sector.

With members of the forum giving detailed instances of anti-social behaviour, vandalism and shop-lifting in the town, Inspector Thompson said that police help was available – but that he couldn’t deploy extra patrols and resources without precise knowledge of individual incidents.

Mr Thomas said: "The key message that came across at what was a very positive meeting was that people must report problems when they occur.

“Without having the evidence of what is happening on the ground, Inspector Thompson cannot argue for more resources on the ground."

He said the advice was to phone 999 if the incident was actually happening and required an immediate response, or to call 101 or email if an emergency response was not needed.

“However, given that calling the 101 number can sometimes be a frustrating and time-consuming process, I would strongly recommend taking a minute or two to write an email – the incident is then logged and can be used to make the case for future policing operations.

“This information will not only help Inspector Thompson here at a local level, it will also assist me at Westminster when I meet ministers to make the case for more police funding," added Mr Thomas.