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Police break up brawls at beaches across Britain on hottest day of the year | UK News

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Violence broke out at beaches across Britain yesterday as thousands flocked to the seaside despite social distancing measures.

Two men in their 20s were stabbed in Leysdown-on-sea, Kent, after hundreds of people – “many of whom had travelled from outside the area” – gathered for an illegal beach rave on the hottest day of the year, police said.

The victims are both from London and were taken to hospital with “injuries consistent with stab wounds” after officers were called at 11.55pm yesterday, the force added.

Police on the Brighton promenade. Pic: Hugo Michiels/LNP
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Police were called to Brighton promenade yesterday. Pic: Hugo Michiels/LNP

A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault causing grievous bodily harm and remains in custody.

Hours earlier, police were forced to break up crowds on the beach at Ogmore-by-sea, South Wales.

Two men in their 20s were arrested after a “large-scale disorder” took place, triggering a warning about the dangers of breaking social distancing rules from First Minister Mark Drakeford.

He tweeted: “We will not be able to continue easing restrictions if scenes like last night continue to happen.

“They threaten the health of people in Wales and undermine the sacrifices the majority of people have made during this ongoing crisis.”

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: A fire engine struggles through the crowds on the promenade on June 25, 2020 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. A major incident was declared by the local council as thousands flocked to Bournemouth and the Dorset coast. The UK is experiencing a summer heatwave, with temperatures in many parts of the country expected to rise above 30C and weather warnings in place for thunderstorms at the end of the week. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
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A ‘major incident’ had to be declared at Bournemouth beach due to overwhelming numbers

South Wales Police Detective Chief Inspector Tom Moore described the scenes as “totally unacceptable”.

He said: “We believe that a large number of youths have travelled to the area from various areas of South Wales to become involved in serious, violent disorder.

“I am appealing to anyone who can assist our investigation to contact us so we can identify and take action against those involved.”

Social media footage from Orcombe Point in Exmouth, Devon, showed a huge fight breaking out.

Videos posted on social media showed large crowds at Ogmore-by-sea and what appeared to be a large brawl
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Videos posted on social media showed large crowds at Ogmore-by-sea starting a brawl

Police were called to a “number of fights” at around 7pm after further anti-social behaviour “during the course of the afternoon”, when temperatures exceeded 30C (86F).

Devon and Cornwall officers had to disperse people after onlookers described the beach as looking like a “festival”.

Beaches in North Tyneside were also plagued by violence yesterday, with police arresting a number of people after fights broke out near families sat enjoying the weather.

A video shared online showed a group of men fighting on the sand, while another was posted of people being led away in handcuffs later in the day.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Police patrol the beach on June 25, 2020 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. A major incident was declared by the local council as thousands flocked to Bournemouth and the Dorset coast. The UK is experiencing a summer heatwave, with temperatures in many parts of the country expected to rise above 30C and weather warnings in place for thunderstorms at the end of the week. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the government will close beaches if social distancing is not observed

Police were also called to a “fight involving a large number of teenagers” after hundreds gathered at Hove Lawns in East Sussex.

Incidents across the country came while a “major incident” was declared at Bournemouth beach after overwhelming numbers arrived despite warnings to stay away to stop the spread of coronavirus.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty warned COVID-19 cases will rise again if people do not practice social distancing.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock also said the government has the power to close beaches if large numbers return in the future.

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