Police told how they got tough at the weekend - and have issued an urgent, ongoing warning to those continuing to ignore Government guidelines.

Officers, across the county, have criticised irresponsible crowds who ignored the isolation rules at the weekend, and took advantage of the hot weather.

Police officers on patrol in Castle Point were forced to remove several fishermen from rivers and lakes, for non-essential travel - and also blocked seven people visiting a relative on Sunday.

Their colleagues in Basildon quickly removed families from parks, after children were spotted using the play equipment.

This comes only days after Basildon Council closed all of its play areas in the parks.

Officers in Basildon also spotted several families having picnics on benches in the park.

And pictures have emerged showing sunbathers enjoying the warm weather on East Beach in Shoebury, while others set up a barbecue nearby.

Both groups were spoken to by officers, this happened on Sunday afternoon.

Ian Gilbert, Labour leader of Southend Council, again warned there could be a total closure of Southend’s seafront, if Government advice isn’t followed.

He also confirmed that there would likely be increased restrictions in place for the upcoming Easter weekend.

The council announced on Friday that car parking spaces had been suspended and parking was banned in tourism hotspots.

Police in Castle Point issued a message on social media, saying: “Some people have been trying to fish. Fishing is not an essential thing to be doing.

“Please stay at home.

“We’ve also seen a lot of people going to visit their relatives.

“We have had seven people going to address. They do understand what they have done is not the right thing.

“Although is sunny and lovely weather, we are urging you to please remain at home at this time.”

A spokesman for the policing team in Basildon, added: “We have been out patrolling Gloucester Park.

“We have educated a lot of people that were using the park, equipment, benches and having picnics!

“We will continue to advise.”

to patrol the areas based on your feedback.

“We have patrolled Markhams Chase and Northlands Park and we will continue to patrol these and other areas.”

Gavin Callaghan, Labour leader of Basildon Council, said: “Thank you to the majority of people who have been using our parks responsibly - especially as the weather improves and more people exercise outdoors.

“However, please don’t linger in parks, use the playgrounds, or get too close to other people.

“I’m coming under pressure to close parks completely which I do not want to do.

“So let’s work together to keep them open so people can responsibly use them for exercise.

“We are also working with the police to monitor social distancing and compliance with the Government’s guidelines to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

“As part of this action we have increased the number of staff monitoring our parks, especially at weekends.

“The vast majority of park users are adhering to the guidance and those that are not will be reported to the police.

“Due to the actions of a few we are having to replace signage related to coronavirus around our parks – please look out for anyone damaging and report (101) any information you have wherever it’s safe to do so.”