BCP Council leader said the behaviour of beach goers yesterday filled her with sadness while Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood apologised for not having the assets to close the beach.

Council volunteers and members of the public visited Bournemouth’s coastline this morning to clear rubbish left over the last 24 hours.

Shockingly, people could still be seen camping underneath Bournemouth pier, some without tents.

Council leader Vikki Slade said: “We knew it was going to be really busy and we did everything we could to make sure we had all the staff in place, extra security, all of our toilets were open, extra traffic wardens in place.

“It’s the behaviour of people that just fills you with such a lot of sadness and anger that people would come down and treat the place as they have.

“That’s why we took the decision we did to declare a major incident.”

Ms Slade said declaring a major incident gave police the capacity to say they needed help.

She added: “What is wrong with people at the moment, that normal, reasonable behaviour has just been abandoned?”

Bournemouth Echo:

Speaking about the clear-up operation on the beach, the council leader said: “I got down here at 5.45 and the beach was already looking fabulous.

“But it was made much more difficult by the large numbers of people camping.”

Health secretary Matt Hancock has recently told people government can close the beaches if people aren’t socially distancing.

In response, Ms Slade said: “I think local people would welcome that. I hope that doesn’t become necessary.

“The whole purpose of us declaring a major incident, it sends a message up to government, it’s not just the council that can deal with this.”

Meanwhile, Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood applauded the council for clearing the beach so quickly before apologising for not being able to close it.

He said: “Ultimately yesterday, those scenes were unacceptable.

“We are forgetting that there is a pandemic here. When any local authority declares a major incident we need to have the national assets to move in straight away in order to provide that support.

“I would like to see a Covid-19 situation centre set up to respond to this, because the rules on social distancing will get more complex as we start to ease restrictions, if we want to avoid that second peak then we need to be able to close situations down very, very fast indeed.

“We need to be able to be much swifter, much bolder, have greater situational awareness to be able to provide support.

“Let’s not forget on July 4, you’re going to introduce alcohol into the situation, where’s that going to take us?”

Mr Ellwood said yesterday was the “perfect storm” as millions were on furlough, children were off to school and the weather was so hot.