Police officer kicked in the face after attempting to disperse large beach gathering

Four youths arrested after around 200 gather on Ballyholme beach

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 31 May 2020 19:02
Police said there would be increased patrols at beauty spots, resorts and transport hubs over the weekend
Police said there would be increased patrols at beauty spots, resorts and transport hubs over the weekend

A police officer was kicked in the face while she was dispersing a large gathering on a beach in County Down.

Four youths were arrested after officers were called to clear the gathering of around 200 from Ballyholme beach, near Bangor, on Friday night.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) statement said: "One police officer was injured after she was kicked in the face."

A 17-year-old youth was charged with offences including assault on police and is expected to appear at Newtownards Youth Court on 23 June.

Two others, an 18-year-old woman and a 16-year-old boy, have been released to be reported to the prosecutors, while a 15-year-old boy remains in custody.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: "I understand that as time goes on, and with the current spell of good weather, some people may be tempted to get out and about and make the most of the sunshine.

"However, as a police service, our key role is to support our public health colleagues and the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure we all play our part in stopping the spread of the virus and help save lives.

"The latest data available shows that the R (infection rate) number, which was flattening/falling, has actually increased again as restrictions have been eased.

"This means that every one of us needs to make informed and sensible decisions about our conduct over the coming days to ensure that we are protecting our own health and the health of others."

Northern Ireland's death toll from the coronavirus reached 522 after one person died on Saturday, according to the Department of Health.

Some 13 cases were confirmed, bringing the total to 4,709.

Police said there would be increased patrols at beauty spots, resorts and transport hubs over the weekend, focusing on crowds gathering in breach of coronavirus regulations, alcohol consumption in public places, speeding and drink driving.

Mr Todd added: "We will continue to engage, explain and encourage people to make the right choices and we will enforce when necessary."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in