People banned from going to popular Cornwall beach in groups after antisocial behaviour

People in groups have been banned from gathering on one of Cornwall's most popular beaches amid a spike in antisocial behaviour.

Devon and Cornwall Police have banned groups from gathering in Polzeath after vandals damaged emergency equipment, smashed glass bottles and left litter across the beach.

The force has now issued a dispersal order for 48 hours in a bid to tackle the antisocial behaviour. It is running now until 10pm on Saturday 16 July.

Beach ranger Bev Samuels has described between 300 and 500 teenagers drinking understage, smashing bottles and "leaving the beach completely trashed".

She said: "The beach should be a place to enjoy during the day and again in the evening, so it's left us with no choice.

"It's because of the particular type of people that come down to the beach at that time of night and do not clear up after themselves."

In a statement, the force said: "Police in Polzeath have issued a dispersal order following reports of antisocial behaviour in the area.

"Over the past few nights police have received reports of alcohol-related antisocial behaviour as well as criminal damage including emergency life-saving equipment being damaged.

"Alcohol bottles have been smashed on the beach and a large amount of litter left.

"This is unacceptable and due to this a direction to leave has been put in place for 48 hours."

People will not be able to gather in groups in the red area Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

The order means groups are unable to gather in the area marked in red on the map above.

Anyone who fails to comply will be arrested while under-16s will be removed and taken to their home address.

The spokesperson added: "Please respect Polzeath and the local area."