Northern Ireland news

Police to increase patrols in Newcastle and Mourne following influx of visitors

Images posted on social media showed large crowds in Newcastle

POLICE are to increase patrols and checkpoints in the Newcastle and Mourne areas of Co Down following an influx of visitors last weekend.

Crowds descended on the seaside town of Newcastle to enjoy the good weather, with images on social media last Sunday showing hundreds of people packed into the streets.

Sinn Féin councillor Willie Clarke said representatives from Newry, Mourne and Down District Douncil (NMDDC) held discussions with police about extra patrols in the area.

"Following the chaotic scenes we witnessed in Newcastle and other tourism hotspots last weekend senior council management met with the PSNI this afternoon and the following will be in place this weekend in the Newcastle/Mournes area," he wrote on Facebook.

"NMDDC will place traffic cones at Carrick Little, Head Road and Tollymore/ Bryansford.

"PSNI will have rolling vehicle checkpoints at main arterial routes into Newcastle area AM and PM, this will be subject to ongoing review of priorities, and may change.

"PSNI will have mobile patrols in the town during the day. PSNI will manage parking on the road at Bloody Bridge through enforcement."

Chief inspector Amanda Ford last night said they were "aware that recently it was particularly busy in the Newcastle and Mourne areas" and as this weekend approaches they "continue to encourage the public to adhere" to continuing coronavirus regulations.

"In response to local concerns, there will be additional resources in and around the Mourne area this weekend and you will see increased patrols and checkpoints across the district as we continue to help keep everyone in our communities safe," she said.

"We will always engage with people first explaining the guidance and the law and encourage people to comply, judging each case on its own merits.

"However, where people blatantly disregard the health protection regulations, parking restrictions or other public safety regulations, they can expect enforcement action from the police."

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