Footage shows a woman being handcuffed and led away by police (Image: Instagram)
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Anti-lockdown protestors "planned and recorded" the arrest of a woman who was allegedly detained by police for breaching coronavirus lockdown rules while sitting on a bench.
A video shared online shows a handcuffed woman being led away by four police officers in Bournemouth, Dorset on Saturday.
Dorset Police believe the incident was "stage-managed" by protestors during a small demonstration in the seaside town.
In the video, the woman is shown protesting, shouting: "I was sitting on a bench" as she is surrounded by police.
Officers were also seen telling another woman she faced arrest if she did not provide her details, while a furious woman filming the clip is heard branding the arrest a "disgrace", shouting at officers: "What side are you on?"
Dorset Police said on Sunday the group were "deliberately organising their activities".
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Assistant Chief Constable Mark Callaghan told the BBC: "We believe this video was planned, stage-managed and recorded by members of the protest group who turned up in multiple areas, several of whom refused to engage or provide their details.
"If people refuse to give their details in such circumstances then it leaves officers with little option, but to arrest until the details are established. Our officers would only arrest as a last resort.
"It was clear that the group was deliberately organising their activities, walking around in twos and then trying to come together in a 'flash mob'-style approach, as they have done previously. This activity went on for a couple of hours."
Three people were arrested for failing to give their details and given fixed penalty notices, Dorset Police said.
All three were later released when they confirmed their details and were issued fined.
Officers also issued at least seven other fixed penalty notices and 10 dispersal notices.
People given Fixed Penalty Notices for breaching coronavirus rules face £200 fines, which double with each offence up to a maximum of £6,400.
Yesterday the chief constable of Dorset Police launched a scathing attack on people who joined a protest against coronavirus lockdowns.
There is no suggestion that any of the people confronted by police were taking part in a protest.
About 20 officers were on the scene to disperse the protesters
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Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “Nationally and locally the situation is dire. On Friday alone at least 68,000 people contracted the virus in the UK and tragically 1,325 people died.
“Our NHS colleagues in Dorset are struggling to cope with the demand being placed upon them and are putting themselves at risk every day to protect the lives of others.
"The number of people in Dorset’s hospitals battling coronavirus has doubled since New Year’s Eve and it is anticipated we have not yet reached the peak.
“Our county is gripped with infections and yet these irresponsible individuals have ignored what is being asked of them and have left their homes to protest. Shame on them.
“I fully appreciate the fact that under normal circumstances people have the right to protest under the Human Rights Act. Now is not that time, people are dying.
"I want the people of Dorset to know that there is no clear exemption for people to leave home to protest and it will simply not be tolerated."
The Health Secretary has backed more stringent enforcement of the lockdown by police and warned that “every flexibility” of the rules could prove fatal.
Matt Hancock said the majority of people are “following the rules” to stay at home, but he refused to criticise the police over complaints that some forces have been over-zealous in handing out fines.
Police tactics have come in for scrutiny after Derbyshire Police handed out £200 fines to two women who drove separately to go for a walk at a remote beauty spot situated around five miles from their homes.
Mr Hancock, asked about Derbyshire Police’s approach, told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: “I’m absolutely going to back the police because the challenge here is that every flex can be fatal.
“You might look at the rules and think ‘Well, it doesn’t matter too much if I just do this or do that’.
“The police are right to take very seriously the rules we have brought in. We haven’t brought them in because we wanted to, we’ve brought them in because we had to.
“Every flexibility can be fatal.”