Two new uniformed patrol officers have asked for patience as they work to make Weymouth a safer place.

The officers, Karoline Johnson and Jon Williams, started work on their beat six weeks ago under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme.

Under the scheme, the specially trained officers have some powers delegated to them, such as enforcing the new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

Their aim is to tackle anti-social behaviour in Weymouth including street drinkers and aggressive beggars.

However, according to some traders in Weymouth town centre, the scheme has had very little impact to some of these issues so far.

Mr Williams said: “Most people have been encouraging, although some have come up and criticised the scheme, I would say to them, give us a chance, we are working hard to improve your safety.

"Also please bear in mind if one of us is dealing with someone the other may not be able to give you their full attention, as covering each other’s safety has to come first.

"Every day on the beat is different, we never know quite what to expect. If for example we see people begging then we explain that it isn’t OK. We explain the PSPO rules and in most cases people are reasonable. We are positive about our work and we want to be a positive force in the town."

Ms Johnson said: “Working on the beat in Weymouth is busy, because we are so visible people want to stop and talk to us, which is great, but it means it can sometimes take two hours to cover the Esplanade.

“Our role on the beat is to be highly visible and deter anti-social behaviour. We are there to reassure people, if you see us and want to report anything, or let us know about something that has made you feel unsafe, come and talk to us, or you can email us.”

Anyone can email the patrol officers, their address is:

Work is underway to recruit two more additional patrol officers and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has ear-marked up to £140,000 for the scheme over the next two years. Funding for the scheme is also coming from the Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner, Dorset Police, British Transport Police, Weymouth BID and Dorset County Council.

Mike Byatt, Community Safety Briefholder at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “Karoline and Jon are providing a great service for our town, people wanted to see more officers in uniform on the beat and that is what we have delivered."

Inspector Barry Gosling, of Weymouth Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Tackling anti-social behaviour remains a priority for the neighbourhood policing team as we know the impact it can have on local residents and these officers are providing vital support to our police officers and PCSOs."

The Police & Crime Commissioner for Dorset, Martyn Underhill said "I am pleased to see that the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) is starting to bed in and that the officers have quickly become part of the community.

"I have been involved with the funding and introduction of CSAS since its inception in Boscombe in 2014, so I know what this scheme can contribute to the local communities it serves. I very much look forward to seeing the changes across Weymouth and the surrounding area as the scheme grows.’’

Traders have not seen much of a change.

The Echo asked traders in Weymouth town centre if they have seen any change since these new patrols started.

Cllr Francis Drake said: “I don’t think there has been much of a change in the area. We still see people being drunk and disorderly on the seafront, walking around and swearing. I’m wondering if they are worth all the money.”

Graham Bentley, owner of La Luna on St Mary Street, said: “I haven’t heard as much noise recently. It is quiet this time of year anyway, but more police can only be good. It can hardly get any worse can it.”

Fiona Penny, owner of Fiona Penny at Sunflowers on St Thomas Street, said: “I haven’t seen a change. We do get quite a lot of trouble on the street and as a shopkeeper I find it quite embarrassing. We hear people shouting and swearing outside but by the time the police get there they have moved on.”

Tony Morris, owner of Rude Not To… on Bond Street, said: “I have seen no difference whatsoever, but I think it would be a cracking idea if the police were more present during the nights. There’s so much noise outside in the early hours of the morning. I live above the shop and don’t get any sleep.”