Police in east London say they are 'fighting losing battle' as people flock to parks in lockdown

9 May 2020, 11:20 | Updated: 9 May 2020, 15:49

Police said hundreds of people had been going to parks in east London
Police said hundreds of people had been going to parks in east London. Picture: Metropolitan Police

By Asher McShane

A police force in London has said it has been "fighting a losing battle" as hundreds of Londoners flocked to parks in the Bank Holiday sunshine despite the coronavirus lockdown.

Hackney police posted today: "Sadly we’re fighting a losing battle in the parks today. Literally hundreds of people sitting having pizza, beers, wines. As always a big thank you to those that are observing the guidelines."

They posted a picture showing crowds sitting together having picnics in the sunshine in a park.

Just hours ago, the prime minister urged Brits to maintain the coronavirus lockdown with temperatures set to rise to 26C over the Bank Holiday weekend.

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Boris Johnson posted online today: "Thank you for all you are doing to protect our NHS and save lives.

"This bank holiday weekend, please stay at home, so we don’t undo everything that’s been done so far."

Temperatures are predicted to hit 26C (78.8F), with the warmest weather of the weekend coming on Saturday.

The government's advice to people remains unchanged, Brits are being told to stay at home, only going outside for food, health reasons or work but only where people cannot work from home.

A couple walk down the street in Lewisham in London on the Bank Holiday weekend
A couple walk down the street in Lewisham in London on the Bank Holiday weekend. Picture: PA

If you have to go outside people should stay 2m away from others at all times and wash hands as soon as you get home.

On Sunday, temperatures will drop by as much as 15C (59F), as a cold weather front moves in from northern parts of Scotland.

Saturday will be bright for most in the UK, hitting highs of up to 23C (73.4F) in northern England, 21C (69.8F) in Northern Ireland, 20C (68F) in southern parts of Scotland and 24C (75.2F) in Wales by the afternoon.

London and the South East could see the hottest temperatures recorded in the UK so far this year, potentially surpassing the 26C recorded in Treknow, in Cornwall, on Good Friday.

It has led the Government to issue reminders to stay at home and obey social distancing rules amid fears people could flock to parks and beaches for days out.

There will be scattered showers across northern Scotland, with the chance of snow on the hills in the evening, with temperatures staying lower than 12C (53.6F) for the whole day.

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Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said: "Most of us will have some very warm and pleasant sunshine on Saturday, with London and the South East possibly surpassing the 26C (78.8F) mark, which would make it the hottest day of the year so far.

"This is because of southern winds coming in from Spain, which will make it warm and dry.

"But this won't be the case on Sunday, a cold front will move in from northern Scotland, meaning temperatures will plunge as much as 15C (59F) across the UK, with the possibility of snow in hilly areas.

"These changes do sometimes occur in spring, as we're in the middle of winter and summer, but this is quite a high drop we will experience."

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