Security and Health in Devon and Cornwall
Dial 999 in the event of an emergency. The operator will connect you to the service you need. The call is free from public telephones.
Provided you follow basic precautions, you are unlikely to encounter any threats. To avoid confrontations with binge drinkers, bypass pubbing areas on Friday and Saturday nights in resorts such as Newquay and Torquay, and in Plymouth which has a large sailor population. Mugging is rare. It is illegal to carry weapons.
Petty theft can occur in this region. Valuables are best deposited with your hotel, campsite or B&B hosts. Lock your vehicle and lodge it in a protected car park if you are leaving it for any length of time. Beware of pickpockets in shopping areas and on public transport and donâ€™t leave your possessions unattended.
If a theft occurs, contact the local police to obtain a crime report number to make an insurance claim.
Non-emergency contact for police: 08452 777444 (24 hours)
If you lose any property, contact the local police station, or â€“ if it was lost on a bus or train â€“ the transport company you used.
Ticks and Snakes
Ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease. Small and black, these arachnids can attach themselves to you on moorlands and in wooded areas. To avoid picking one up, cover your arms and legs on walks. If you find one on your skin, consult a doctor or pharmacist promptly. Adders with zigzag markings are the only snakes in the region to beware of. Thankfully they are quite rare. If you are bitten by one, seek medical attention.
NHS Direct: 0845 4647
Weaver fish can be found on some beaches, often lying just below the sand at low tide. Stepping on their poisonous spines in bare feet can cause painful stings.
Take precautions by wearing jelly shoes (plastic sandals). Take care not to be stranded by high tides which move in quickly and beware of powerful currents that can sweep you out to sea when you swim. Lifeguards are present on the main beaches.
The hospitals listed below have 24-hour Accident and Emergency departments where you can get treated.
Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital: Barrack Rd, Exeter 01392 411611
â€¢ Derriford Hospital: Derriford Rd, Crownhill, Plymouth; 0845 155 8155
â€¢ Royal Cornwall Hospital: Treliske, Truro; 01872 250000
Pharmacies, known as chemists in the UK, are present in every town and large village and can advise on minor ailments. Most are open 9amâ€“5pm Monday to Saturday. Many drugs are only available by prescription from a doctor or hospital. Drugs are known by various names in different countries, so if possible, carry a bottle or packet of the drug that you need.
Although there are dentists in most towns, few will accept patients who are not registered.
In an emergency, call the dental helpline (01872 354375 in Cornwall and 01392 405700 in Devon). If it is after working hours, call 01392 824600.
There are no inherent problems for female tourists in Devon and Cornwall, though solo travellers should avoid deserted areas at night and not ride in unregistered cabs.