POLICE are urging the organisers of an anti-lockdown protest due to take place in Bournemouth town centre to call off their event.

The gathering, organised by a regional group of the Stand Up movement, is due to meet at Bournemouth town hall on Saturday afternoon before heading to a secret location, which will be revealed on the day.

This comes after the Stand Up South Somerset & Dorset group held an assembly outside the BCP Council headquarters on Saturday, November 7.

A post shared on social media about this weekend's planned event says it will begin at 1pm, with attendees asked to bring a black bin bag and a jam jar.

Organisers said anyone planning on walking to the town hall can have a car share arranged to get to the secret location.

Following the start of the second national coronavirus lockdown on Thursday, November 5, gatherings of more than two people outside are currently unlawful.

When asked if Dorset Police was aware of the event and if it would be permitted, a force spokeswoman said: "The right to protest is well established in this country and police forces have a long history of upholding this by policing by consent and ensuring the safety of all those exercising that right.

"However, coronavirus is a deadly disease and there are restrictions in place to prevent its spread.

"Gatherings of more than two people are unlawful under the new coronavirus regulations. We continue to urge people to abide by these regulations, as we have throughout this public health crisis, to help keep themselves and others safe.

"We are aware of this planned event and we are liaising with the organisers in a bid to prevent this event from taking place.

"Our officers will continue to use a 4 Es approach of escalation, where they will engage, explain and encourage people to follow the regulations. Where this is not effective, then enforcement action may be taken."

Stand Up South Somerset and Dorset said it wants to question the mainstream narrative of the Covid-19 virus and encourage people to meet and participate in peaceful rallies.

Police officers could be seen monitoring last Saturday's event from a marked car that was parked nearby. A force spokesperson confirmed no enforcement action was taken.