TWO people have been summoned to court to become the first in Brighton and Hove to be charged under the new Coronavirus Act.

Police said a couple who had a barbecue on Hove beach became abusive to Police Community Support Officers and police officers on Saturday afternoon.

They were spotted having a barbecue on the beach near Hove lawns.

Despite repeated requests to leave from officers, the pair allegedly refused to do so, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

After several minutes of discussions between the force and the two beach-goers, a police officer poured a helmet filled with water over the barbecue to extinguish it.

Sussex Police confirmed two people, a 31-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman, both from Hove, have been reported for summons to face charges of breaching Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

The spokesman said: “The man was initially arrested after allegedly refusing to provide his details. He had a cough and asked officers for a mask so that he didn't cough on them. He was eventually de-arrested and returned home to self-isolate.

“Both will be summonsed to attend court in due course.

“While the warm weather encouraged people to get out of their homes, Sussex Police has thanked the majority who have observed the government advice and stayed local while maintaining social distancing and travel guidelines.

“Where it has been necessary for officers to engage with them, they have been very co-operative with their requests to return home after completing their daily exercise.”