Two sunbathers who were caught flouting the government’s lockdown rules to enjoy a barbecue on the beach amid the coronavirus pandemic complained that the police had ‘ruined their day’.
The oblivious pair, who were seen sitting along the coast near Hove Lawns, in Brighton, were urged by police – who were compared to ‘part-time teachers’ – to move away from the site amid the government’s social distancing measures.
Footage which was shared on social media showed the officers urging the 31-year-old man and 48-year-old woman to vacate the site before the woman told the police: ‘You’ve just ruined our fricking day!’
During the video, two officers, dressed in high-vis jackets, are seen approaching the pair sat on the beach and asking them to move, telling them: ‘You need to take your alcohol or we’ll move it swiftly away from you.’
The pair had been having a barbecue near Hove Lawns, in Brighton, when they were spotted by police officers
The two officers urged the pair to swiftly leave the spot as the pair continued to remain seated
The woman is unhappy after one officer suggests he is ‘educating’ them, saying: ‘He’s a teacher, a part-time teacher as well now.’
One officer tells the man and woman: ‘The sooner you move away from us the better day you’ll probably have. Just go and enjoy yourself somewhere else.’
Frustrated with the officer’s warning, the woman replies: ‘You’ve just ruined our fricking day!’
The officers reminds the pair that they have been asking everyone on the beach to vacate the spot and adds: ‘We’re telling everybody. Look who empty the beach is.’
Following the incident, one witness, who asked not to be named, told The Argus: ‘She seemed to be horrified that they were being asked to move along.
‘There was a lot of support for the officers and members of the public were shouting at her to move along and listen to the police.’
After several minutes, one officer extinguished the beach barbecue by filling his helmet with water and pouring it onto the flames.
Following the incident Sussex Police said that the pair had been summoned to court after beaching the Coronavirus Act 2020.
CONVERSATION BETWEEN POLICE AND THE COVIDIOT COUPLE
Police officer I: You need to take your alcohol or we’ll move it swiftly away from you.
Woman: I didn’t know it was…
Police officer I: I’m just educating you…
Woman: I know, you just told me. Thank you for educating me. He’s a teacher, a part-time teacher as well now.
Police officer II: The sooner you move away from us, the better a day you’ll probably have. Just go and enjoy yourself somewhere else.
Woman: You’ve just ruined our fricking day.
Police officer II: Yes, because we’re telling everyone. Look how empty the beach is.
The officer reminded the man and woman that they have been asking everyone on the beach to leave
Members of the public were seen enjoying the warm weather in Brighton yesterday despite the government’s lockdown guidelines
Police officers in Brighton speak to sunbathers amid the government’s social distancing rules
Officers in St James’s Park, London, stop to speak with a sunbather as the country remains in lockdown
A Sussex Police spokesperson said: ‘Two people have been reported for summons to face charges of breaching Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 after becoming abusive to PCSOs and police officers on the beach at Hove on Saturday afternoon (April 4).
‘The pair, a 31-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman, both from Hove, were spotted having a barbecue on the beach, but despite repeated requests to leave, allegedly refused to so.
‘The man was initially arrested after allegedly refusing to provide his details. He had a cough and asked officers for a mask so that he didn’t cough on them. He was eventually de-arrested and returned home to self-isolate.
‘Both will be summonsed to attend court in due course.
‘While the warm weather encouraged people to get out of their homes, Sussex Police has thanked the majority who have observed the government advice and stayed local while maintaining social distancing and travel guidelines.
‘Where it has been necessary for officers to engage with them, they have been very co-operative with their requests to return home after completing their daily exercise.’
In a tweet the forces added: ‘Thank you to everyone that stayed away from beauty spots and beaches today. We know it isn’t easy.
‘We are disappointed that two people will be summonsed to attend court after breaching the Coronavirus Act 2020 by having a BBQ on #Hove beach.’
As the country continues to grapple with the rising number of coronavirus cases, people have continued to breach lockdown rules in order to enjoy the country’s sun-soaked beaches and parks.
On April 4 Sussex Police said two people had been summoned to court after breaching the Coronavirus Act 2020
The continuing defiance among some Britons comes after the Health Secretary Matt Hancock backtracked on a threat to ban outdoor exercise if people do not comply with the coronavirus lockdown.
On Sunday, the Health Secretary blasted sunbathers for flouting the rules and warned the government would ban ‘all forms’ of public exercise if a ‘small minority’ refuse to stay at home.
However he later updated his comments while speaking at the daily Downing Street coronavirus press conference and said he did not want anyone to think that any changes to the social distancing rules are imminent.
Mr Hancock said the end of lockdown will be determined by ‘how much people follow the rules on social distancing’ and ‘the more people follow the rules then the faster we will all be through it’.
He then issued a direct plea to people who are ‘breaking the rules or are pushing the boundaries’, telling them: ‘You are risking your own life and the lives of others and you are making it harder for us all.’
The scenes come after the Health Secretary Matt Hancock blasted sunbathers for flouting the rules
He concluded: ‘We have included exercise as one of the things that you can leave your house to do because exercise is good for our physical and our mental health but please do not bend or break this rule.
‘We can’t rule out further steps but I don’t want anyone to think that any changes to the social distancing rules are imminent because the vast majority are following the rules.’
The latest scenes come as the nation continues to control the surge in coronavirus cases which has now hit 55,242.
Yesterday health officials also confirmed that 7,095 people in the country have now died from Covid-19.