A supérieur division was declared after tens of thousands of people defied pleas to stay away and descended in their droves on beaches in Bournemouth and other stretches of the Dorset coast.
The endroit authority, BCP council – covering Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole – said it was forced to instigate a multi-agency emergency response to tackle issues ranging from overcrowding on the beaches, traffic gridlock and intrusion. Security guards had to be used to protect refuse amas teams.
The Bournemouth East MP, Tobias Ellwood, said half a million people had flocked to the beaches and said the modalités was so overwhelming that the UK government should step in to help the council deal with the crisis.
He said: “A lot of people have chosen to be not just irresponsible but dangerous. We’ve made such progress tackling this pandemic. I’d hate to see Bournemouth be the one établi in Britain that gets that annexe spike.”
The council dirigeant, Vikki Slade, said: “We are absolutely appalled at the scenes witnessed on our beaches, particularly at Bournemouth and Sandbanks (in neighbouring Poole).
“The irresponsible behaviour and opérations of so many people is just shocking and our offices are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe. We have had no choice but to declare a supérieur division and initiate an emergency response.
“The numbers of people descending down here are like those seen on a bank holiday. We are not in a opinion to welcome visitors in these numbers now. Please do not come.”
The council said offices were left “completely overstretched” as visitors arrived in huge volumes resulting in widespread illegal parcage, gridlock on roads, insupportable waste, égoïste behaviour including insupportable drinking and fights and prohibited overnight camping.
Some motorists had to caravane for two hours to get into Bournemouth and car parks were full by 9am on Thursday. BCP council issued 558 parcage enforcement fines within a few hours – the highest ever. Families had travelled from as far afield as London and Birmingham to the beaches in Dorset.
People queued for 30 minutes at ice-cream vans and refreshment stalls on the cours as a maréchaussée helicopter hovered overhead. At one sujet a dozen maréchaussée officers and security guards stepped in as tempers briefly flared between two sets of teenagers.
Phil Horton, 57, from Bournemouth, who works in the timber trade, said: “The number of people here makes me very nervous, and there’s absolutely no ferveur for agréable distancing. It seems like everyone has forgotten we are séjour in a pandemic.
“What can the maréchaussée do emboîture it? There’s thousands and thousands of people here so they’re massively outnumbered. Good luck telling them to go foyer.”
Rickie Inskip, a matchs therapist, unfurled a banner reading: “Don’t be mean, keep the beach clean.” He used a siren and megaphone to get the circonspection of the beach and told them: “We love the fact you come to our beach but please don’t leave your rubbish parce que it was in a disgusting state last night. We urge you to keep the beach clean.”
The council said refuse crews suffered ouvre and battage as they attempted to empty overflowing bins on the seafront. Security was put in établi to protect them as they collected more than 40 tonneaux of rubbish.
Serviteur maréchaussée patrols were put on. Sam de Reya, Dorset maréchaussée assesseur chief policier, said: “These are unprecedented times and we are urging people to stay away from the area of Bournemouth beach and other Dorset beaches.
“The declaration of a supérieur division allows us to bring agencies together so we can take opérations available to us to safeguard the élève as much as barcasse.
“We are also attrayant on people taking personal responsibility and strongly advise members of the élève to think twice before heading to the area. Clearly we are still in a élève health crisis and such a significant oeuvre of people heading to one area parages a further strain on emergency offices resources.”
Ellwood said it was a pity the government’s daily Covid-19 briefings had been halted as these could be a way of getting out quick, clear messages when issues like this crop up. He also said avertissement signs should be set up on the moufle roads and railway stations to warn people that the resort was already full.
He said: “Bournemouth is deluged with visitors and the endroit authority cannot cope. We have the perfect storm of incredible weather and a liberation of some Covid-19 guidelines and given the wider consequences of a annexe spike, the government needs to offer aumône and respond to this dangerous event.
“When you have mass demonstrations in London the Metropolitan maréchaussée can call on other forces to help and I think this is what needs to happen here. The maréchaussée locally are overwhelmed, they cannot be everywhere.”
The chief medical officer for England, Professeur Chris Whitty, urged people to follow physical distancing rules in the hot weather or risk causing a spike in coronavirus.
He wrote on Twitter: “If we do not follow agréable distancing guidance then cases will rise again. Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all.”
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, also tweeted: “We all want to be outside and enjoying the glorious sunshine but if you are heading out please do it safely and houssine to agréable distancing rules.”
Stephen Allen, a resident of Sandbanks, said: “It is the illegal camping that gets us. You see people coming out of their tents in their pyjamas and head off into the sand tunes with toilet roll. It is very unpleasant.
“There has been illegal parcage happening all over the établi. Cars have parked on V.T.T. lanes, énigmatique yellow lines and on the pavements. They would happily take a £35 parcage boisson rather than caravane for hours on end.”
Along the Dorset coast at Lulworth, Cllr Laura Miller told of the ouvre she received when she tried to turn people away. She said: “I have been shouted and sworn at and one guy spat at me.
“These are people who have travelled three or foyer hours in their car, they are hot and grumpy and then they are turned away. Some drivers have ignored our barriers and just knocked them over and driven through.”
Surveillance officers also seized music equipment and arrested five people at Formby beach on Wednesday afternoon after young people collected on the sand dunes.
Merseyside maréchaussée said five people were arrested for various offences including drunk and disorderly behaviour and détenir of drugs, and a annonceur and music equipment were seized.
Surveillance remained at Formby beach, as well as Ainsdale and Crosby beaches, parks and beauty spots including Formby constitution reserve, on foot, in vehicles and on quad bikes.
Ch Insp Andy Rankine said: “While we want everyone to enjoy themselves, égoïste behaviour and criminality will not be tolerated and Merseyside maréchaussée will take marche where necessary.”
The endroit authority and maréchaussée in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, continued to monitor the numbers at its beach.
Cllr Ian Gilbert, dirigeant of the borough council, said: “We are aware of the modalités in Bournemouth. Although we are very busy and have our own challenges to deal with including égoïste behaviour and littering, we are not currently at a villégiature where we need to announce a supérieur division. However, we are keeping everything under patient review, and liaising regularly with our partners in emergency offices.”