Police carry out 'dawn raids' on campers who stayed overnight in Cornwall despite lockdown restrictions

Police out on dawn patrol this morning (21 May) in Newquay, identifying and moving on campervans that had come to the region. See SWNS story SWPLraids - Police launch dawn raids on campervans and tents that have stayed overnight in Cornwall - ordering them home.
Police have carried out 'dawn raids' on campervans and tents who stayed overnight in Cornwall, ordering them to go home. (SWNS)

Police have carried out 'dawn raids' on campervans, caravans and tents as people stayed overnight in holiday hotspots despite coronavirus lockdown rules.

Campers in Cornwall were given an early morning wake-up call by police and ordered to return home.

The move comes after beaches across the UK were packed on Wednesday, leading to gridlocked roads and traffic wardens running out of parking tickets.

According to the latest lockdown rules in England, people can drive to outdoor open spaces with members of the same household, as well as travelling to beaches or beauty spots, but cannot go on holiday or stay overnight.

Police gave people who had camped in Newquay, Cornwall, an early morning wake-up call. (Picture: SWNS)
Police gave people who had camped in Newquay, Cornwall, an early morning wake-up call. (SWNS)

Police in Newquay were among those carrying out patrols early on Thursday morning, with pictures showing them confronting campers.

Posting online early on Thursday morning, Newquay Police said: “We identified some visitors that had travelled to Newquay and stayed overnight against Public Health England advice and legislation.

“With engagement, explanation and education they moved on. We love visitors to the town, #comebacklater.”

Visitors had also reportedly set up tents and stayed overnight in vans in the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, sparking anger from locals.

Sightings of tents were reported in Pistol Meadow and Pentreath, with vans also seen staying overnight in a National Trust car park for the area’s lighthouse and on land adjoining a car park in Kynance.

Local resident Janice Thirlaway-Price said: “The main thing thing is the blatant disregard of government guidelines and lack of consideration for our community.”

Elsewhere in Cornwall, locals reported seeing tents and vans pitched up in beauty spots. (Picture: SWNS)
Elsewhere in Cornwall, locals reported seeing tents and vans pitched up in beauty spots. (SWNS)

She added: “There are no facilities open, so nowhere to go to the toilet for 10 miles – Tesco or Sainsbury’s – which leads to the dangers of human waste in and around the footpaths local people are using for their daily exercise.

“There is the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 and the impact it will have on Treliske and our local doctors. Various footpaths around the village make it impossible to maintain a two-metre distance.”

The National Trust said that people should not be staying overnight on the organisation’s land at any time, but particularly in light of coronavirus lockdown rules.

A spokesperson said: “People shouldn't be doing that anyway, let alone on National Trust land, and anyone seeing it should be alerting their local police on 101.”

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