A major incident was declared yesterday in Bournemouth after thousands of people swarmed to the Dorset seaside resort as the heatwave continued for a second day, stretching the local council “to its absolute hilt.”
The council say large numbers of visitors, some from as far away as Birmingham, descended on the beaches as temperatures soared to 33C – causing “illegal parking, excessive waste, anti-social behaviour, gridlock on roads and prohibited overnight camping”, according to The Sun.
558 parking fines were handed out – the highest on record – crowds were compared to being like “those seen on a bank holiday”.
Emergency crews were also abused as they attempted to clean overflowing bins on the seafront – with eight tonnes of waste collected in one day.
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.”
David Morley, who lives along the coast in Sandbanks, told BBC News: “What we saw was a complete breakdown of normal decent behaviour and law and order – it’s completely swamping the system.”
Thousands have also descended on Lulworth and Durdle Door, leaving Dorset Police urging people to stay away from the county’s beaches.
Sam de Reya, the Assistant Chief Constable of Dorset Police, said: “We 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.”