A senior police officer says people can continue to enjoy surfing in Cornwall during the coronavirus pandemic - but should not "take the mick" by travelling huge distances to do so.

Chief Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith said people could continue to go to the coast to exercise alone or with people from their own household, but stressed his officers didn't want to see groups of friends at beaches.

He also warned surfers to take extra care, given the lack of lifeguards on beaches at the moment.

He said: "Surfing has not been banned. It's exercise and in Cornwallwe know it's a popular exercise. People can still surf.

"The question of driving a reasonable distance as per the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) guidelines, is 'how far is reasonable'.

"The NPCC guidelines do not say whether you can or cannot drive to doyour exercise.

"I am telling my officers people can surf and some may well drive to surf."

The chief superintendent, who is commander of police in Cornwall, said the recent guidance from the National Police Chiefs Council was consistent with what his officers were doing on the ground.

But he reiterated the public should not try and take advantage of the guidance.

He confirmed no one had yet been fined in Cornwall for breaching the guidelines, but stressed officers would "fine people where appropriate".

Chief Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith says people shouldn't be driving long distances to the beach

If people are essentially taking the mick, then we may find it best to send them to the magistrates' court and let them work it out.

Chief Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith, Commander of Policing in Cornwall

In a statement from Devon and Cornwall Police, the force's position on the new legislation is laid out.

The key to making this work for everyone in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and across the country, is for everyone to be reasonable.

Devon and Cornwall Police