COUNCIL bosses are pleading with residents to abide by social distancing restrictions following reports barriers had been removed from public parks.

Thurrock Council says it has received reports of people ignoring the lockdown but using play equipment which has been shut off to the public.

The social distancing restrictions in place mean councils across the UK have installed padlocks or tape on equipment to prevent people from using them.

However, Thurrock Council says residents have been removing locks and barriers in order to access outdoor areas.

It tweeted: "We have received reports that barriers, tape and padlocks have been removed from play equipment and people have been climbing into these areas.

"Please don't put the most vulnerable at risk as this could help spread the virus and possibly prolong restrictions."