Lockdown warnings ignored as holiday visitors flock to Forest and beach

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Lockdown breach at Highcliffe Beach (picture: Dorset Police)

DESPITE warnings not to visit the New Forest and Christchurch during the holiday weekend, police had to deal with several people who came from places such as Horndean and Southampton.

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Throughout Friday to Sunday Hampshire and Dorset officers patrolled streets, beaches, parks and other public places to ensure people were adhering to the government’s regulations to limit the spread of coronavirus. They also responded to tip-offs from members of the public.

Lymington and New Milton PCSOs were sent to Hatchet Pond, near Beaulieu, on Saturday following reports by Forestry England of multiple breaches. People were said to be having picnics and barbecues, and paddleboarding in the pond throughout the day.

A post afterwards on the Lymington Cops and New Milton Cops Facebook pages said work with FE would continue in a bid to prevent further issues at the site.

A car got stuck in Beaulieu (picture: Hampshire police)

“It is not reasonable for such a high volume of people to park in the road and frequent the area as if it were a holiday. We will continue to be in the area,” the post added.

Police and New Forest NPA rangers responded when a motorist got their Land Rover stuck in mud, churning up Forest land in Beaulieu on a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). The driver had travelled 40 miles from Horndean, near Portsmouth, before going 150 yards off-road.

After the vehicle was pulled free, the driver was reported for possible prosecution for driving on land other than a road.

Another driver was handed a £30 penalty notice that day for blocking a farmer’s access gate to a field at Longdown in Marchwood.

Officers shared their disappointment at finding Highcliffe beach packed with bathers on Saturday.

A post on the Christchurch Police UK Twitter account said: “One family had travelled from Southampton to use a dinghy in the sea! This does not count as daily exercise!”

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1 COMMENT

  1. I never realised there were so many selfish, ignorant idiots out there. When the second and third wave of this virus arrives, and it will, I hope there is a way of denying medical treatment to these fools.

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