Covid-19: Follow the spirit of lockdown says police chief
- Credit: Tony Gussin
The police have urged people in Devon to act within the spirit of the national lockdown and not just to the letter of the law.
During the first week of current Covid-19 lockdown restrictions Devon and Cornwall Police received 921 Covid-19 related calls, almost half of these from Cornwall.
There were 433 incidents of officers offering encouragement, engagement, and education to the public to comply with regulations and 49 Covid-19 fixed penalty notices were issued.
Speaking on Thursday, January 14, Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said during the pandemic the force area communities had been largely compliant and that had continued throughout the first week of lockdown.
He said: “We want all of our communities to act within the spirit of the national guidance, and to not only follow the rules set out in law.
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“Many officers have been asked in the last week what constitutes local exercise and how far can people reasonably travel – what I would ask is people do the right thing to protect themselves and others from further spread of Covid-19.
“The Government is asking people to stay at home and only leave or travel for a limited number of reasons, including exercise.
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“Local means to stay within your village, town or part of your city. While it may not be stipulated in law, be responsible and play your part in keeping your community safe.”
He said the ‘encouragement, education and engagement’ policy had mostly seen compliance with regulations and a change of behaviour.
He added: “We have dedicated Covid cars in operation throughout the force area to respond to public concerns and, where necessary, issue enforcement to maintain public safety.
“No officer wants to have to issue a fixed penalty notice. My plea to the public is don’t be that person who refuses to comply and puts yourself and others at unnecessary risk.”
Dedicated Covid cars were involved in 66 per cent of the responses to Covid-related calls received by Devon and Cornwall Police during the first week of lockdown.
For the full details of the latest Coviod-19 lockdown restrictions, go to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.