Ahead of the Easter bank holiday weekend, Dorset Police is telling anyone thinking of coming to the county, not to travel, as ‘Dorset is closed’, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
On social media, Dorset Police said:
“Please do not visit us now. You will be welcomed back when the time is right. We will be policing our roads and other transport networks over the Easter weekend and ask you not to travel.”
Last weekend there was a police roadblock at Stoborough, turning vehicles back that didn’t have a good reason to travel towards Swanage, and late last night, Purbeck Police were patrolling the town to ensure that there was no movement of cars. They reported that the town was virtually deserted with people mainly staying at home.
This morning they were out again. Purbeck Police reported:
“Today we have completed patrols in the Swanage, Studland, Corfe Castle and Langton Matravers areas. I would like to thank the overwhelming majority of people that are still abiding by the current guidelines. We dealt with a number of incidents including a report that people had been camping on the beach at Studland. When we attended they had left prior to our arrival.”
In a video statement, Chief Constable James Vaughan, of Dorset Police, said:
“The key to making this work for everyone in Dorset is for everyone to be reasonable. If you can exercise with a run or a walk near your home, it is reasonable for you to do so. Our interpretation is that it is not reasonable, for the majority, to drive to a specific place such as a beach or beauty spot. It is also not within the spirit of what we are trying to achieve, regardless of whether that is ‘lawfu’ or not. Please stay at home.”
Reporting car number plates to the police
Residents have been concerned that the combination of good weather and the Easter break may tempt people to break the rules and travel to the beach, however with the town so quiet, all the attractions closed and the car parks locked, one resident commented that it wouldn’t be easy for any visitor to remain unnoticed.
Local people have already been reporting incidents and car number plates to the police.
Purbeck Police said:
“Please report any breaches of the COVID19 legislation on 101 or through the Dorset Police website and we can respond to it.”