Recently, there was another incident involving Richard Crafer aka ‘Swan Man’ and his threats to river and Tidal Road users on the Avon estuary. This incident apparently involved Mr Crafer kicking a lady’s dog and threatening her with a rock. There have been numerous similar incidents in the past but the level of threatened violence seems to be escalating. Despite warnings from the police, ’Swan Man’s’ behaviour continues unchanged.
Bigbury Parish Council, the Aune Conservation Association, and the new owners of the Bantham Estate share a common view about this nuisance. The Duchy of Cornwall has asked us to make it very clear that ‘Swan Man’ is not acting as their agent, in any capacity, despite what he may claim.
Our first concern is the preservation of free access to the estuary and the Tidal Road for the public. The estuary, of course, is an asset of huge recreational importance. We should all be concerned whenever that recreational experience is spoiled. The local police have become involved because of the very widely reported nuisance behaviour of ‘Swan Man’ – who is spoiling the estuary experience for many users of the water and Tidal Road with his off-putting, personal behaviour whenever he feels that his ‘charges’ may be at risk.
REPORTING PROTOCOL: The police have asked that anybody who feels threatened in any way (and it may be very early in the morning or very late at night, depending on the tides) should immediately report details of the incident on their 101 non-emergency number to log the incident into their records. Please also call local police officers:-
Jo-Pengelly 07921061657 or Dave Gibson 07525617842. Then and most importantly they should call the Anti-Social Behaviour Officer:- John Ward tel. 01803 861252 or firstname.lastname@example.org because he is anxious to build a case to try and rid the estuary of this nuisance.