A MAN was taken to hospital with serious injuries and a police officer was spat at following a fight in Sandbanks.

Dorset Police was called at 10.36pm on Thursday, April 1, to a report of a fight involving a large group of people in the car park at Tesco Express in Shore Road.

It is alleged that glass bottles were thrown during the incident.

Officers attended the area to disperse the group, assisted by the NPAS helicopter and the ambulance service.

While at the scene, one officer was spat at and sustained a minor head injury. A second officer sustained minor injuries to her head and arms.

A small number of people sustained injuries and attended hospital for treatment. 

A 19-year-old man from Poole was detained at the scene, but he was later released and taken to hospital with serious injuries to his head and hand. He remains in hospital receiving treatment.

A section 35 dispersal notice was issued ordering people to leave the area until 8am on Friday, April 2. The area was cleared by around 12.50am.

Assistant chief constable Sam de Reya, of Dorset Police, said: “This incident involved a large number of people and we had to deploy specialist units, including the dog section, to the scene to assist in dispersing the group.

“The pandemic is not over and large numbers of people gathering together increases the risk of spreading Covid-19.

“Not only was this in breach Covid-19 legislation, there were reports of criminal and public order offences, which unnecessarily drew on a significant amount of police resources.

“We are continuing to urge people to keep doing all they can to help protect the NHS and save lives.

“We take reports of violent disorder very seriously. Following the incident in Shore Road, officers will be carrying out patrols in the area and will continue to use the 4Es approach to the new legislation, including engagement, education and encouragement to ask members of the public to comply with the regulations. Enforcement action will be taken where necessary.

“I would like to recognise those officers and staff who responded and dealt with this incident, some of which sustained injuries.

“I would also like to thank those members of the public who are sticking to the restrictions and remind everyone of the importance of playing their part so that we continue the good work that has been done so far to reduce the spread of Covid-19.”

A BCP Council spokesperson added: “As part of our seasonal response plan we’re running a multi-agency command control centre from now until September working with our partners including the police. In response to the incident at Sandbanks last night we have put in place additional security patrols to support our police colleagues on the ground.       

“It was disappointing to see a significant amount of litter left at Harbour Beach and we’re liaising with Poole Harbour Commissioners as landowner, on the use of this beach, as it falls under their remit and we thank the Dorset Devils for cleansing the area this morning.”