Coronavirus: Police pour water over BBQ after beach-goers ‘refuse to leave’ during lockdown

Samuel Lovett
Dave Strauss/Twitter

Police have been filmed pouring water over a barbecue after two people on a beach allegedly refused to leave during the coronavirus lockdown.

One yellow-jacketed officer can be seen tipping a helmet full of water onto the BBQ as a colleague watches on.

The incident appears to have taken place at Hove beach in Brighton, after Sussex Police tweeted on Saturday that two people had been “summonsed to attend court after breaching the Coronavirus Act 2020 by having a BBQ on Hove beach.”

The force added: “Thank you to everyone that stayed away from beauty spots and beaches today. We know it isn’t easy.”

People were warned over the weekend not to put lives at risk by visiting beaches, parks and other beauty spots during the warm weather.

Cabinet secretary Michael Gove has meanwhile said there is “evidence to suggest” young people are not taking social distancing measures seriously despite strict instructions to stay at home.

“That is why it is important that we reach them appropriately – it may be that some of the messages and some of the channels we have used have not reached some segments of the population,” he said last week.

“It may be that young people feel that they are less likely to be affected and less likely to be infected.”

Police chiefs have also asked the public to “cut us a little bit of slack” following criticism of heavy-handed tactics to enforce the Covid-19 lockdown.

Derbyshire Police were previously criticised after using drones to film people walking in the Peak District, activity they said breached coronavirus regulations.

Lancashire Police issued 123 fines for breaches of the rules last weekend, while officers in Cheshire summonsed six people for various offences, including multiple people from the same house going out to buy “non-essential” items.

But West Midlands Police chief constable Dave Thompson has said that claims Britain is becoming a “police state” are “widely off the mark”.

“I think the public are trying to stick to this, which they are, and I think the general comments that have been made by experts and people, they just need to cut us a little bit of slack at the moment, it’s pretty tough,” he said last month.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps admitted there had been “one or two instances” of police being heavy-handed but said that, as a whole, forces were being “sensible”.

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