Police step up patrols at beauty spot to stop visitors breaching lockdown rules

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Police have fined several members of the public who visited a local beauty spot despite official warnings to avoid the area.

Officers from Lancashire Police have been patrolling Appley Bridge Quarry this weekend amid a surge in unauthorised visitors during the hot weather.

The police were quick to warn people against traveling to the quarry, reminding people that not only was the location on private property. They also highlighted the danger of swimming in the cold water by reminding everyone of a number of fatal incidents at the quarry over the past few years.

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The force said it had already issued 35 directions to leave as well nine fines for breaching the lockdown regulations ahead of eased rules, which come into effect from tomorrow, Monday June 1.

Police at the quarry this weekendPolice at the quarry this weekend
Police at the quarry this weekend | other

One person visiting the quarry were even caught in possession of cannabis.

A statement on the Ormskirk and Rural West Lancs Police Facebook page said: "We are currently patrolling around the quarry at Appley Bridge, due to the high number of visitors there is a dispersal notice in place which gives Police the power to direct people to leave and to seize any items linked with anti social behaviour. Any breaches can result in arrest.

"This is in place all weekend and Police will be present."

They later added: "With Officers still patrolling the area of Appley Bridge quarry, we have already issued 35 formal directions to leave, issued fines to 9 people for breaching covid regulations, stop searched 4 people and summonses 1 person for possession of cannabis."

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The area being patrolled by policeThe area being patrolled by police
The area being patrolled by police | other

Ahead of the weekend, a statement from the force said: "We are expecting more good weather all weekend and over the last few days the sunshine has brought a significant rise in the number of people from outside of Lancashire travelling to the quarry in Appley Bridge. Many of these people have been acting antisocially under the influence of alcohol and lighting barbecues in the dry woodland.

"The quarry is private property with no trespassing allowed, even more importantly it is not a safe place to attend. Recent years have seen people sadly lose their lives in the cold waters of the quarry and the barbecues risk setting the woodland alight after the prolonged dry spell.

"In response to the antisocial behaviour, and to prevent the risk to life, Inspector Kanoun has authorised a dispersal order for the weekend. This is legislation under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This gives Police Officers the power to direct any person to leave the locality and not return for up to 48 hours. Officers can also confiscate anything they believe could be used to cause antisocial behaviour.

"Our new mobile Police Station, fitted with cctv, will be at the quarry all weekend with several members of staff to enforce the dispersal notice.

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"However tempting it may seem please do not visit the quarry, it is not safe and failure to abide by the direction to leave could result in arrests.

"We hope you all have a good, safe and responsible weekend. Sgt Darren".

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