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A multi-agency emergency response has been activated to co-ordinate resources in an attempt to clear huge crowds. Thousands of visitors have arrived, resulting in numerous problems including illegal parking, excessive waste, anti-social behaviour, gridlock on roads and prohibited overnight camping. The Bournemouth Echo has reported local services have received widespread abuse and intimidation as they attempted to empty overflowing bins on the seafront.
Conservative MP for Bournemouth East, Chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee Tobias Ellwood tweeted: ‘MAJOR INCIDENT’ declared in BOURNEMOUTH – pls stay away.
“With 1/2 million visitors in Dorset, roads are gridlocked, hindering emergency vehicles & beaches are full – with Dispersal Orders on both piers.
“I’ve asked Police Minister to dispatch additional police if Dorset requests.”
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.”
Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya, of Dorset Police, said: “These are unprecedented times and we are urging people to stay away from the area of Bournemouth Beach and other Dorset beaches.
“We continue to work very closely with BCP Council and other partners to ensure the safety of the public.
“We are also deploying additional resources to provide increased patrols in the vicinity to help tackle any issues of anti-social behaviour and other offences being committed.
“The declaration of a major incident allows us to bring agencies together so we can take actions available to us to safeguard the public as much as possible.
“We are also reliant on people taking personal responsibility and strongly advise members of the public to think twice before heading to the area.
He added: “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.
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“This influx of visitors to our area places a significant increase in demand on our service and we would ask people to please bear with us.
“We would therefore stress again that we are asking people to please stay away from the area.”
Between the piers alone, eight tonnes of waste was collected yesterday on the second collection run of the day.
Earlier today, a further 33 tonnes of waste was collected along the full stretch of the coastline.
A number of incidents have been reported involving excessive alcohol and violence.
Further police patrols have been enforced, security put in place to protect refuse crews and additional parking enforecment implemented to support the management of car parks and ticketing.
Overnight campers were also evicted, with further patrols by the seafront set to be out in place.
Public health messaging has also been issued to ensure people stay hydrated, particularly if they get caught waiting in long traffic queues.
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