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Police break up group of 70 youths swimming in river

PUBLISHED: 12:56 26 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:10 26 June 2020

Police dispersed 70 youths from the Wiggenhall Mary St Magdalen and Watlington area. Picture: Archant

Police dispersed 70 youths from the Wiggenhall Mary St Magdalen and Watlington area. Picture: Archant

©Archant Photographic 2010

Police moved in to disperse a gathering of about 70 young people who were jumping into the water and swimming in west Norfolk.

The youths were gathered in the Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen and Watlington area on Thursday, June 25.

Police dispersed the groups across the afternoon, after they received three phone calls between 1.50pm and 4.15pm yesterday.

The area is well known to local officers and features on routine high visibility patrols.

A police spokesman said: “We engaged with the group of people and they were moved on.”

The Wiggenhall St. Mary Magdalen village sign. Picture: Ian BurtThe Wiggenhall St. Mary Magdalen village sign. Picture: Ian Burt

No arrests or fines were issued and there have been no reports of damage.

The Environment Agency issued a warning today, urging people not to jump off their structures as there could be “hidden dangers”.

A post on Twitter added: “People who ignore our safety signs are potentially putting their lives at risk and could be fined.”

A police spokesman said: “Whilst we acknowledge that with the recent warm weather, members of the public like to enjoy the sun by visiting the coastal areas and beauty spots, officers are reminding people to continue adhering to the government guidance on social distancing.

“We all have an individual responsibility to protect not only ourselves, but to protect others from this virus.

“By following social distancing measures, we are reducing the chance of transmission in Norfolk, which will enable us to protect us all but particularly the most vulnerable members of our community.

“We will be monitoring areas popular with visitors as well as conducting our usual patrols. We will respond accordingly to any issues that may arise such as anti-social behaviour and large group gatherings.

“Officers are also urging those enjoying the sunshine to remain safe by the water inland, on the Broads and along the coast. Please ensure that you are wearing life jackets when on boats and canoes, apply sunscreen regularly, wear sunglasses and sun hats when possible and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.”

The warm weather also saw people flock to Hunstanton after Boris Johnson mentioned the town during Prime Minister’s Questions.


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