Police officer kicked in the face while trying to break up beach gathering

A police officer was kicked in the face when they broke up a gathering on a beach (Picture: Getty)

A police officer was assaulted after a group of 200 people turned on authorities when they broke up a gathering on a beach in Northern Ireland. 

The melee kicked off when police were called to Ballyholme beach, near Bangor, on Friday night.

In total four people were arrested, including three boys aged 15, 16 and 17 and an 18-year-old woman.

The 17-year-old was charged with assaulting a police officer and other offences.

He is scheduled to appear at Newtownards Youth Court on 23 June.

The boy, 15, is also still in custody but the other two have been released pending reports.

A statement from Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said: “One police officer was injured after she was kicked in the face.”

Assistant chief constable Alan Todd added: "I understand that as time goes on, and with the current spell of good weather, some people may be tempted to get out and about and make the most of the sunshine.

"However, as a police service, our key role is to support our public health colleagues and the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure we all play our part in stopping the spread of the virus and help save lives.

"The latest data available shows that the R (infection rate) number, which was flattening/falling, has actually increased again as restrictions have been eased.

"This means that every one of us needs to make informed and sensible decisions about our conduct over the coming days to ensure that we are protecting our own health and the health of others."

Northern Ireland announced this week more retailers can open and small outdoor weddings will receive the go-ahead from June 8 if the coronavirus infection rate remains under control.

NI Statistics and Research Agency has reported 716 deaths from COVID-19 in the country as of 22 May.

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