CALLS are being made to see a more “robust” approach to enforcing the lockdown with the introduction of stop checks on our roads after a large number of daytrippers descended on Southend.

Southend seafront was packed as tourists and visitors, primarily from London, travelled to enjoy the warm weather on Saturday.

The flouting of the rules has raised the ire of many, with #COVIDIOTS trending on Twitter.

Now calls are being made to see measures put in place to tackle non-essential visits to Southend.

Martin Terry, councillor responsible for community safety, said: “So far, the softly softly approach clearly is not working.

“There really is no excuse now because there is so much coverage about what is going on.

READ MORE >> Council 'lost control' as seafront was 'overwhelmed by selfish daytrippers' flouting lockdown rules

“The vast majority of people are being responsible and staying at home so there is no excuse for these people to be visiting.

“We had our community safety officers down on the seafront and they were being verbally abused by visitors. We lost control.

“Threats were being made and normally in that situation we would call the police but there were just too many people to impose the law so we had to make a sort of tactical withdrawal.”

Now Mr Terry is calling for stop checks to be implemented on Southend’s roads.

He added: “I think that we need stop checks to ask people: ‘Are you a key worker?’ If they aren’t, issue a notice or fine and turn them around.

“If you are travelling for legitimate exercise that’s ok but if you’re travelling 60 miles they need to be turned around.

“I know that they have been stopping people in Brighton on the A23 and I can’t see why we can apply this tactic to our roads like the A13 or the A127.

“We need to start stopping people and check their papers.

“If you’re going from Rochford to Southend then fair enough but if you’re coming from Tottenham then no, they need to be sent back.”

Mr Terry is also calling for a response from the Government.

“This is a key issue. Seaside towns like us and Blackpool are special cases and need the Government to tell us how to approach this legislatively.

“When the lockdown is relaxed, seaside towns are going to get deluged by hundreds of thousands of people and we are going to be overwhelmed.

“We need something to help us control the amount of people. I’m not trying to be the fun police but people need to understand that this is a serious issue.”