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Thu, 25 Jun, 2020

"Major incident" declared as thousands ignore advice to stay away

"Major incident" declared as thousands ignore advice to stay away

Officials in southern England have declared a "major incident" after thousands of beach-goers flocked to local beaches.

Bournemouth and Sandbanks in Dorset were hit hard as crowds came to enjoy the hottest day of the year so far and ignored advice to stay away from the area.

By Thursday morning, more than 40 tonnes of waste had been removed from the coastline.

Council leader Vikki Slade said she was "absolutely appalled" by the scenes.

"The irresponsible behaviour and actions of so many people is just shocking and our services are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe," said Slade in the statement. 

"We have had no choice now but to declare a major incident and initiate an emergency response."

As the UK is slowly easing its coronavirus restrictions, groups of up to six people are allowed to meet up outside.

However, people are taking the newly eased up restrictions too far as people were found camping illegally overnight.

Slade compared the scenes to a public holiday.

"We are not in a position to welcome visitors in these numbers now or to deal with the full range of problems associated with managing volumes of people like this," said Slade. "PLEASE do not come. We are not able to welcome you yet."

Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya of Dorset Police said that people should stay away from the area.

"We are also reliant on people taking personal responsibility and strongly advise members of the public to think twice before heading to the area," she said.

"Clearly we are still in a public health crisis and such a significant volume of people heading to one area places a further strain on emergency services resources."