CANVEY residents were appalled after seeing a gathering of around 20 people having a barbecue at Smallgains Marina.

A woman who did not want to be named, said: "There must have been around 20 people all drinking and socialising.

"There were more people than what you can see in the photo as some of them were just walking out of the shot as I took it.

"I informed the police who had taken note of it and said they would try to get someone there, but that unfortunately they were inundated with these types of calls at the moment. 

"I really feel for the police, they have enough criminals to deal with without having to police people not following government advice to stay in."

The incident, which took place on Wednesday around 6pm, raises concerns around the Easter Bank Holiday, and whether people will continue to flout government guidelines.

The woman added: "My friend lives in the area too and said when she went out around 8pm they were all still there.

"It's madness.

"My in laws were abroad when all this kicked off so they missed a lot of what was going on in the news, but since they have been back we have been  dropping stuff to the doorstep. 

"People are that naïve and not understanding that it is something serious."

Essex Police have been contacted for comment.