Suffolk Constabulary is urging people to stay disciplined this weekend as the country looks to take its first step out of lockdown on March 8.
With the weather improving and the days starting to stretch out, the temptation to bend the rules is understandable but the force is urging residents to remain resolute and adhere to the current regulations that are geared at saving lives and protecting the NHS. Police will engage with people, explain the rules and encourage people to follow them but if people are blatantly ignoring the restrictions they are more likely to be given a fine as their actions are putting others at risk through their behaviour.
Between 26 December 2020 to 3 March 2021 Suffolk issued 667 Fixed Penalty Notices and had 933 incidents of words of advice given so officers will not hesitate to take enforcement action if necessary. Police officers will be out this weekend working with Covid wardens and partners to try to keep the public safe.
T/Chief Supt Simon Mills said: "We are acutely aware that last weekend in Suffolk, due to the warmer and milder weather, it did seem much busier with people visiting beauty spots, travelling to DIY stores and simply not adhering to social distancing rules. It is such casual observance of the regulations that will cause problems.
"The creeping trend for the odd meeting up of friends or relatives, the unnecessary and frequent visits to the shops and travelling further than you should all need to stop. You can call them ‘stretches’, ‘bends’ or ‘flouts’ but it all amounts to the same thing – such actions will threaten an increase in the virus circulating. We must all stay at home to protect ourselves and our families and friends, and to reduce the pressure on the NHS.
"Thank you for your on-going support once again – it is the collective effort that will make the difference as to when lockdown is completely lifted. We are not out of the woods yet but we are moving in the right direction. Let’s make sure that continues in the weeks ahead.”
All the detail on the government’s ‘roadmap’ and the current regulations as to what is permissible can be found here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus