Police vented their fury on social media on Saturday evening as they said “hundreds” of people flocked to parks to enjoy the high temperatures. The officers said they were “fighting a losing battle” as they struggled to enforce the coronavirus lockdown rules. It came as HM Coastguard said it had the highest number of call-outs since the lockdown began on Friday, which marked the VE Day bank holiday.
Hackney Police said hundreds of people broke coronavirus lockdown rules on Saturday, as they sat in local parks eating and drinking.
Posting a picture of a park showing people gathering in groups on Twitter, they wrote: “#OpPIMA and sadly we’re fighting a losing battle in the parks today.
“Literally hundreds of people sitting having pizza, beers, wines.
“As always a big thank you to those that are observing the guidelines #StayHomeSaveLives #ProtectOurNHS #lockdownuk”
Britons have been accused of flouting the coronavirus lockdown rules this weekend
Brighton’s promenade was very busy on Saturday
Pictures from nearby Greenwich Park showed a number of people had headed to the green space to sunbathe and have picnics.
But police told them to move on, as they were breaking lockdown rules.
Some people were even spotted queuing at an ice cream van.
Under current Government guidelines, people are banned from sunbathing or having a picnic in public places.
Police said they were “fighting a losing battle”
The Government advises that people can only leave the house for essential work, to buy groceries, for a medical need or to help a vulnerable person, or for one form of daily exercise.
The HM Coastguard also accused Britons of breaking the coronavirus lockdown rules over the bank holiday weekend.
They said it had the highest number of call-outs since the lockdown began on Friday, with 97 incidents – a 54 percent increase compared with April’s daily average.
Pictures from Brighton beach showed a large number of people stopped to soak up the sunshine on the pebbles today.
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People were seen queuing for ice cream near Greenwich Park
Police officers urged people to move on as sunbathing is banned under the lockdown rules
Police officers were spotted telling the beach-goers to move on.
Brighton’s promenade was also full of visitors, though must appeared to stick to social distancing rules and stay two-metres away from others.
Temperatures reached as high as 26C in parts of the South on Saturday, with similar warm weather seen on bank holiday Friday.
HM Coastguard commander Matt Leat commented on the increase in beach-goers this weekend, and said: “People are ignoring the measures put into place by the Government.
Police patrolled Greenwich Park on Saturday
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“I completely understand that the weather and the bank holiday coupled with the fact that we’ve been in this lockdown situation for just over six weeks has tempted people out to our beautiful coasts.
“However, as the government said only yesterday, it’s really vital that we all continue to observe the guidance.
“Every time we get a 999 or distress call, we will always respond but the minute we send in a rescue response, we’re putting our frontline responders at risk as well as putting the NHS under avoidable pressure.
“Please, please continue to observe the #StayHomeSaveLives message – it’s still in place for a reason. Exercise locally and stretch your legs, not our resources.”