HAMPTON, N.H. (CBS) – Large and rowdy crowds that have been causing issues at Hampton Beach in recent weeks are organizing through social media, according to the town’s police chief.
Last month, several hundred teens gathered at the popular beach. Fights broke out among the group, and police struggled to disperse them.READ MORE: 'I Felt Numb': Mother Outraged Over Dracut High School Yearbook Message Of Support For Son's Accused Killer
Hampton Police Chief David Hobbs said similar gatherings are happening around the region and throughout the country in beach towns.
“The issues that we’re dealing with down at Hampton Beach, they’re not unique to us here at Hampton. I don’t see them as a reflection on our town or our community,” Hobbs told the Board of Selectmen at a Monday meeting. “What we’re really experiencing here are events that are coordinated through social media that just gather mass amounts of people to group in one place.”READ MORE: 58 At Massachusetts Schools Test Positive For COVID-19 In Last Week
Hobbs pointed to similar recent issues at Massachusetts beaches in Revere and Plymouth, and said there have been others in places like Seattle and Miami.
As a result of the May incident, Hampton Police added additional police officers in the area over the weekend. Nine people were arrested Friday night, and seven more were arrested Saturday.
New Hampshire State Police and departments from Epping, Rockingham County, Seabrook, UNH, Exeter and Portsmouth provided resources over the weekend. Selectmen said Gov. Chris Sununu has promised State Police will continue to help patrol the area.MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
“We will continue with these efforts so we can focus on these issues and be visible so people can feel safe when they come to this community,” Hobbs said.