The aftermath: Thousands of people descend on Bournemouth Beach

The aftermath: Thousands of people descend on Bournemouth Beach

Published by The Wessex FM News Team at 7:29am 26th June 2020.

A major incident was declared yesterday after thousands of people descended on BCP Council beaches on the hottest day of the year so far.

A multi-agency emergency response was activated to co-ordinate resources across the area to tackle the issues.

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."

Services were left completely overstretched as visitors arrived in large volumes resulting in widespread problems of illegal parking, excessive waste, anti-social behaviour, gridlock on roads and prohibited overnight camping.

car shut at sandbanks
Police shut the car park at Sandbanks.

Police officers dealt with drunkenness, fights and having to locate missing children as pandemonium hit Bournemouth beach on the hottest day of the year.

Anna Harvey, Chair of Dorset Police Federation, the body representing police officers in the region, travelled to Bournemouth beach on Thursday to check on officers’ welfare and provide them with supplies and water.

As demand soared to match the temperature, Dorset Police Officers were forced to work extended shifts in the searing heat as thousands continued to ignore the warnings to stay away - and flocked to the sandy beaches

Anna said:

"People have been locked down for months… and now with the weather and the lockdown being unlocked have been flocking to our fantastic beaches.

"Dorset Police – and our colleagues on the ground – are doing the best they can in these very difficult and extreme circumstances. 

"People were asked by the Government to show common sense and at times there has not been much evidence of that being on display. We are still in the middle of a pandemic.

"Our colleagues are doing a fantastic job in very trying and hot conditions – remaining courteous, professional and robust when needs. And let’s please spare a thought for them in their full kit in this heat."

Dorset Police Federation Secretary Ian Roe added:

"I would like to recognise how hard our officers are working given the unprecedented demand and weather conditions we are currently seeing.

"As we have seen in the media, the numbers of people flooding to Dorset beaches are significant and this is contributing to a rise in demand across the Force area.

"People should avoid the area - remember we are still in a public health crisis and please think twice before travelling."