POLICE were called to Leasowes Park in Halesowen to disperse groups of people flouting social distancing rules.

Officers received a call reporting people gathering together around the car park and play area at the park off Mucklow Hill on Saturday (April 4) at around 4pm.

They reminded people of the rules on social distancing and dispersed groups.

Dudley Council has already warned people parks could be closed if rules continue to be flouted.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "We received a call about people gathering around the play area and car park at Leasowes Park, Halesowen, just before 4pm on Saturday (4 April).

"Our officers attended and issued reminders on the current guidelines around social distancing.

"The groups dispersed and no further action was required."

For details on social distancing restrictions visit https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/coronavirus

Dudley Council has reminded people to maintain a safe social distance from other park users, whether they are sitting, walking, running or cycling.

In order to protect people from coronavirus it has cordoned off play equipment at its parks and open spaces.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley Council’s cabinet member for parks, said previously: “We want people to enjoy their local green spaces, but they need to use them first and foremost for exercise and must observe the rules of social distancing to ensure that they and other park users stay safe which is why we have taken steps to close off access to communal play areas.

“It is essential that people observe social distancing, if not we may have to close our parks.

“I know that our parks are held in great affection by local people, but during this challenging time for us a nation we need to focus on what is best for all of us and work together to achieve that.”

Dudley Council has already closed Himley Hall and Park to deter large groups of people who were congregating on the grounds.

Any damage to barriers or fencing on play areas in the borough, should be reported to Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345 or emailed to dudleycouncilplus@dudley.gov.uk.

People flouting social distancing can be reported to police on 101.

A record high of 854 coronavirus deaths were announced in the UK today, taking the total to 6,227, with 51,608 confirmed cases.