Police received no reports of 'irresponsible' New Year's gathering on Dorset beach

POLICE received no reports of a large gathering on a Dorset beach on New Year’s Eve – as locals branded the party ‘irresponsible’. As previously reported, a large group of approximately 30 people, described as being teenagers and people in their early twenties, were spotted on Eype beach near Bridport on Thursday, December 31. One person observed that they were playing loud music on the beach, as well as being ‘grouped close together’ as they saw in the New Year.

Photos taken at the scene show groups of people gathered around two separate camp fires, while more revellers stood around what appears to be a music sound system. While the party happened under the nose of residents in the area, Dorset Police confirmed they received no reports of such event.

A spokeswoman for Dorset Police however urged people to abide by Government’s coronavirus measures as the country was placed in another lockdown. She said: “We did not receive any reports overnight between Thursday. December 31.

2020 and Friday, January 1, 2021 of a gathering on Eype beach. “Dorset Police is continuing to urge people to abide by the Government regulations to help keep themselves and others safe. “Our officers, including our dedicated COVID-19 patrol 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 will be taken when reasonable, proportionate and in line with COVID-19 regulations.” On the day of the event, Dorset Council area was placed in Tier 3 restrictions, as Government guidance stated people can see friends and family they do not live with or do not have a support bubble with in some outdoor public places, such as a beach, in a group of up to six. Eype Beach and Thorncombe Beacon, pictured by Sandra Healey

News of the large party shocked residents and councillors on social media, with many describing the gathering as ‘shocking’ with many people calling for the revellers to be identified and fined. One resident in the area however stated that no litter appeared to be left behind on Eype Beach and believed attendees had placed boxes and bags of bottles and cans near bins at a local car park. A man, who did not wish to be named, was left stunned by a ‘complete disregard’ to coronavirus measures by the revellers, claiming they were ‘close together’ around camp fires.

He said: “I could see about 30 or so people in their late teens to early twenties having a New Years Eve party on the beach beneath the cliff top hut at Eype at 11:30pm. “They were playing loud music and grouped close together around fires with a complete disregard to the rules on gatherings and social distancing. “It is frustrating to see this irresponsible behaviour by people when thousands of people are being infected with the coronavirus daily.”

Owners of holiday parks and homes in the area were unaware that such an event took place – but were left stunned by the photographs and details of the gathering. Did you see the party? Did you attend the party?

What are your thoughts on this?

Email me at michael.taylor@newsquest.co.uk.

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