Horrified families looked on as a mass brawl ‘involving 200 people’ broke out on Exmouth beach this week.
All available officers from the Devon and Cornwall policing units were sent to Orcombe Point after reports of a ‘large scale altercation’ during a heatwave on Wednesday.
A number of different fights took place within the massive scuffle, which was broken up shortly before 7pm, a police spokeswoman said.
A dispersal notice, which gives officers the power to break up groups of more than two people, was put on the area until Friday morning.
One mum told The Mirror she was ‘lost for words’ after witnessing the ‘absolutely shocking behaviour’.
She said: ‘As we were leaving my son, who is 7, got knocked while they were fighting in massive groups. Would easily say 200 people plus, it was horrendous.’
Another person at the scene claimed they decided to leave after partygoers starting ‘gathering together, doing drugs and swearing’.
East Devon MP Simon Jupp said he had spoken to Devon & Cornwall Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner after the ‘appalling’ scenes yesterday.
He said: ’I am appalled by the scenes that took place on Exmouth beach yesterday.
‘We must all, including parents, take responsibility for the spread of coronavirus. Now is not the time for mass gatherings.
‘I have spoken with the Police and Crime Commissioner about increasing the police presence along the seafront.’
East Devon District councillor Nick Hookway added that the mass altercation was ‘the latest in a series of anti-social behaviour that’s taken place in Orcombe Point over the last few weeks’.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman said: ‘It’s believed that there were a number of fights within this altercation and was further reported that there had been anti-social behaviour seen during the course of the afternoon.
‘A number of units attended the beach and sea front where a dispersal notice was put in place by police and will remain until Friday morning, in order to reduce the likelihood of recurring incidents.
‘A small number of people had to be dispersed by officers whilst the majority dispersed of their own accord.’
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