COUNCIL staff were spat at and abused as crowds swarmed Bournemouth’s beaches and abandoned the lockdown laws this weekend.

BCP Council leader Vikki Slade said that Bournemouth was in a “horrendous” state over the weekend as people flocked to the seaside to enjoy the sunny weather.

Now, council leaders are considering closing the car parks following an “emergency meeting” in a bid to keep the area safe.

Councillor Slade said yesterday the situation was “horrendous”.

“The car parks were full before 10am today. We called an emergency meeting to discuss what we can do,” she said.

“We could close the car parks but it would be a case of stopping new people from coming in.”

The council leader said council staff have been “scanning the water” as there are currently no lifeguards on the boat, as well as managing crowds and dealing with disposable barbecues on the beach.

“We are also concerned about safety,” she added. “Staff have been spat at, assaulted and abused.”

While around the two piers the beach looked extremely busy, further afield in areas like Southbourne it was a quieter scene.

Rail, Maritime and Transport Union chiefs reported “chaos” on the railways due to a surge in passengers, with Bournemouth at the “eye of the storm”.

On Sunday, a group of councillors, including Cllr Slade, went to the busiest sections of Bournemouth beach to see if there was anything they could do to improve the situation.

“Appalling to see people not even attempting to distance,” Cllr Slade tweeted afterwards.

“Been volunteering on the beach all afternoon and spoke to people with dogs, lit barbecues, big groups sitting virtually on top of each other.

“Over 13 tonnes of litter removed this morning before beach opened and campers evicted.”

Mark Mould, chief operating officer at Poole Hospital, believes that people have “lost the social distancing compliance”.

He added: “Sad really that such hard work by everyone could be undone. We will be monitoring impact with teams and crossing fingers.

“We have to open back up – it is just really challenging to maintain the asks. We have done incredibly well and are very low in the south west and Dorset. We monitor a range of markers daily that aggregate into a Dorset position, so we can track any change and trend.”