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Police Commissioner Tells Visitors to ‘Stay Alert’ as Hundreds Flock to Beauty Spots

Published on: 26 May, 2020
Updated on: 29 May, 2020

Groups were observed at Newlands Corner on Saturday (May 23) who were not observing social distancing guidelines.

Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro has urged residents to continue to abide social distancing measures after Surrey beauty spots were crowded over the weekend.

Visiting Greater Frensham Pond and Common by foot, the PCC witnessed examples of social distancing not being followed, risking a rise in new cases of the virus.

Surrey Police encouraged groups of more than three individuals to leave the site. Roads were closed to stop additional vehicles from parking along verges and blocking cycle and driveways. Sites at Box Hill, which continues to be monitored by the force, and Newlands Corner were also busy.

Littering gives evidence of the popularity of some beauty spots and the activity taking place.

One Dragon reader wrote in to say: “The bins [at Newlands Corner] had evidently been emptied since last week, but there is still a Tsunami of garbage left around the bins.

“Even more worryingly were the groups of motor-cyclists and push-cyclists failing to observe social distancing, within less than two feet from each other.”

Cyclists by Newlands Corner.

The PCC said: “As we begin the slow journey to a new normal, it is absolutely critical that we protect the progress we’ve made, by continuing to social distance and isolate where necessary. As a local resident, I was concerned to see examples of individuals breaching this guidance, presenting a very real risk to our communities.

David Munro

“We must all stay alert, by resisting the urge to meet with more than one individual from another household, and avoiding driving to beauty spots when they are likely to be crowded or have limited parking.

“I am very lucky to live within walking distance of Frensham Pond, and it is right that local residents should enjoy similar spaces for the benefit of their physical and mental health, by bike or on foot if possible. In order to do that, we must be sensible and continue to protect the vulnerable.

“Illegal and inconsiderate parking is a recurring issue at this and other sites that have limited available parking during peak times; please also consider this before you make your journey.”

Surrey Police are working closely with the National Trust and borough and district councils to allow individuals and families from the same household to enjoy parks and open spaces safely.

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