POLICE are pleading with residents to help keep Test Valley a ‘safe and unspoilt place’ after reports of litter, abusive behaviour and a lack of social distancing along the River Test.

Monday marked the first day in which people were allowed to meet outdoors in groups of up to six people.

Those doing so must ensure they continue to maintain social distancing, however officers say that this has not been happening in certain spots across the borough.

Now, they are urging people to ‘go elsewhere’ if areas are too busy – and to just go home if everywhere is too busy.

A post on the Test Valley Cops Facebook page read: “Unfortunately though we are getting reports from various spots along the Test, that people are tuning-up in numbers, failing to respect social distancing, leaving litter and other items and even discarding piles of fish hooks in places where children play and wildlife can be harmed.

“Some have been abusive to residents when challenged.

“We want everybody to enjoy the Test Valley, but when doing-so, please respect our environment and local people. Proper social distancing remains vital. If a place is too busy, go elsewhere. If everywhere is too busy, please go home.

“Officers will be patrolling over coming days. Help us to keep the Test Valley a safe and unspoilt place.”

It comes after chaotic scenes were reported at leisure spots such as Bournemouth beach.

The leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council said that Bournemouth had been left in a “horrendous” state, with council leaders said to be considering closing the car parks following an emergency meeting in a bid to keep the area safe.