Covid patrols: Dorset Police enforce lockdown rules after breaches at beauty spots

  • Watch the report by ITV Meridian's Richard Slee

Dorset Police is warning residents to stay close to home during lockdown.

It comes as officers have been carrying out dedicated Covid patrols.

The force have taken action against people travelling long distances to popular beauty spots and breaking lockdown rules.

In one instance, a journey was made from Newcastle via Wales, to Christchurch.

Officers also caught up with a group of rock climbers who had travelled 100 miles to Portland.  

Local residents on socially distanced walks at Hengistbury Head Credit: ITV Meridian

Hengistbury Head is an area of interest for police officers on dedicated covid patrols because the nature reserve is a magnet for visitors taking their daily exercise.

Most residents are abiding by the rules and are pleased to see members of Dorset Police enforcing social distancing.

  • What do local residents think of the patrols?

One man who said he travelled from Poole because his dog was bored with local walks, ignored police advice to go home. Instead, he continued his walk because he said that he was not outside his local authority region.  

Despite this, Dorset Police say it's happy with how people are responding to the lockdown rules.

  • Sgt Dan Galloway, Dorset Police:

On the whole, the public are far more educated. They want to go out and do their exercise but they are sticking to the rules and there is a greater understanding.

Sgt Dan Galloway, Dorset Police

Covid patrols will continue during the lockdown period and people are being warned that if they don't stay close to home, there is a chance that they will be fined.