A major incident has been declared in Bournemouth as thousands of people from across the country flock to the south coast to make the most of this week’s heatwave.
Additional police patrols and security guards have been brought in to proactively deal with widespread alcohol-related incidents and disorders on beaches in the coastal town.
In the past 24 hours, 41 tonnes of waste has been removed from the stretch of coastline.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council said people “defied advice to stay away”, leaving many local services struggling to cope.
Council leader Vikki Slade said: “We are absolutely appalled at the scenes witnessed on our beaches, particularly at Bournemouth and Sandbanks, in the last 24-48 hours.
“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. We have had no choice now but to declare a major incident and initiate an emergency response.”
The council yesterday issued 558 parking enforcement fines – the highest on record – and responded to many reports of cars parking and causing an obstruction.
Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya, of Dorset Police, said: “These are unprecedented times and we are urging people to stay away from the area of Bournemouth Beach and other Dorset beaches.
“We continue to work very closely with BCP Council and other partners to ensure the safety of the public.
“We are also deploying additional resources to provide increased patrols in the vicinity to help tackle any issues of anti-social behaviour and other offences being committed.
“The declaration of a major incident allows us to bring agencies together so we can take actions available to us to safeguard the public as much as possible.
“We are also reliant on people taking personal responsibility and strongly advise members of the public to think twice before heading to the area. 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.
“This influx of visitors to our area places a significant increase in demand on our service and we would ask people to please bear with us. We would therefore stress again that we are asking people to please stay away from the area.”
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