Purbeck Police are actively stopping motorists and turning them round, if they haven’t got a good reason to travel into Swanage. This is in an effort to stop a repeat of last weekend, when people from outside the area travelled to visit the town’s beaches and coastal path.
Dorset Council has now closed the beach car parks and in a strongly-worded statement, backed by Swanage Town Council, it said:
“Dorset Police and Dorset Council are asking people not to drive to a beach, park or local beauty spot this weekend, to stop people congregating and not observing social distancing.
“Last weekend saw record numbers at beaches and parks around the country and the agencies are keen for there not to be a repeat this weekend.”
Councillor Gary Suttle, Dorset Council Portfolio holder for Economic Growth and Skills, who also represents Swanage on Dorset Council said:
“I want to stress to all our residents and potential visitors, I ask you to please, please, do not come to Dorset this weekend, please don’t go out to our numerous beauty spots.
“Even if you feel well now, you could be carrying the virus. We all want to enjoy Dorset in our futures, please do not take that opportunity away from yourselves and your loved ones”.
Stopping vehicles across Purbeck
Purbeck Police is going to continue patrolling the area and speaking to drivers across Purbeck. It said:
“Today we will be out and about stopping vehicles across Purbeck. Please remember you can only be out for the following reasons:
- Shopping for basic necessities food/medication as infrequently as possible.
- One form of exercise per day alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need to give care/help vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work if absolutely necessary.
“Stay safe everyone. We are here for you.”
The Chief Constable of Dorset Police, James Vaughan added:
“I am reassured and satisfied that we have adequate powers to deal with the threat of this emergency situation and can enforce the new rules.
“We have shifted resources and created capacity across our Force to ensure we have enough officers to enforce these new powers. Our officers and staff are proactively patrolling our communities, stopping people and vehicles to ensure people are not flouting these restrictions. So far I am reassured with the response from our public in Dorset, who in the main are taking sensible steps and are adhering to the advice.
“For some areas of the country, this weekend marks the start of the Easter holidays. Please stay at home. Driving to exercise, visit public locations or beauty spots is not within the spirit of the Government direction and it places additional demand on other sectors.”