Cars heading to Brighton beach turned back around at police checkpoints

A police officer advises a group of people to move from Brighton beach (Picture: Getty)

Police have turned away several cars trying to get to Brighton beach during the heatwave.

Officers set up checkpoints to catch people who were attempting to break coronavirus lockdown rules by making unnecessary journeys.

They managed to catch at least 19 cars and issued 12 fines on the A23 just before Patcham, the Argus reported. 

Residents cheered the Surrey and Sussex Road Policing Unit every time they caught a car that was not meant to be in the area.

Officers forced one vehicle to travel back 100 miles to Milton Keynes.

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Police patrol the beach on Saturday (Picture: Getty)

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “It’s not a dedicated coronavirus stop-check, but as part of the routine stop-check, we are asking people why they are here, where they are going and turning them around if they do not have a purpose.

“We will be issuing fines if necessary.”

Many people did manage to make it to the beach and officers were then forced to move them on.

Pictures showed sunbathers being asked to leave after they had sat down beside the water.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to announce only very modest changes in detailing his “road map” for easing the lockdown on Sunday evening, but there are concerns mixed messaging has prompted the public to head outside.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it would be “absolutely tragic” if people damaged the success social distancing has had on tackling coronavirus by leaving home to enjoy the warm weather.

Read more: Young males 'more likely to ignore coronavirus lockdown restrictions’

A police officer advises people to leave the beach during the warm weather (Picture: Getty)

Shapps added: “It’s vital that we don’t throw away essentially the great work of seven weeks of people respecting very impressively the rules and the guidelines by throwing it away because it happens to be sunny outside this weekend, that would be absolutely tragic.”

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, he said the Government would be proceeding with “an unbelievable degree of caution”.

“Extreme caution is actually the watchword on this,” Shapps said.

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