Southsea Pier and beach in the early morning.

Portsmouth Council use drones to monitor beach footfall during lockdown

Portsmouth City Council have revealed that they have employed the use of drones to monitor footfall on the region’s beaches.

The drone footage, which the Council hasn’t shared, reportedly shows thousands of people on the beach front, with many congregating around coffee shops and takeaways, something which is allowed within the rules.

The Council concedes that while you are allowed to go out with members of your household for exercise, however people are being advised to not travel specifically for exercise, particularly to beauty spots such as parks or beaches.

Council leader, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said:

“There is a growing concern about how things are operating on the seafront.

“We hired a drone to get some footage at the weekend, so we can see what the numbers are actually like.

“When I have been out, people have been gathering around in groups at takeaways – so we have to make sure that’s not happening, without hindering businesses in the process.”

The Council is considering what action to take to discourage people from gathering at the beach front as the region reported another 1,292 cases in the past week.

Benches will be removed from near a particularly busy Coffee Shop to prevent loitering in the area, the Council is also considering the use of wardens in the area to break up large crowds.

PSE Dec/Jan 20-21

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