BRIGHTON and Hove's city centre streets were almost empty on New Year's Eve as Tier 4 Covid restrictions meant pubs, clubs and bars had to keep their doors shut.

However, passersby reported seeing a large number of people on the city's beach as the clock approached midnight, with several fireworks displays visible from the pebbles as 2020 came to an end.

Sussex Police officers were briefed ahead of the evening, with the force having issued a warning to anyone considering gathering to celebrate New Year's Eve that they would take action if they saw "blatant breaches and reckless flouting" of Covid rules.

There was a large police presence in Brighton and Hove throughout the evening, with several fines issued and a beach party dispersed in Hove.

The force had previously said it was aware of plans for a New Year's Eve "Freedom Protest Street Party" at the car park at Black Rock.

A poster promoting the event encouraged would-be revellers to "raise the vibration for 2021 with your awake family".

Organisers Protest Everywhere urged those attending to "bring a bottle/drums/music/firewood/love and joy".

But it appears the plans did not materialise, and there have been no reports of a mass gathering at the site last night.