‘Majority of people are abiding by rules’: police

Staffordshire Police has thanked the county’s communities for continuing to follow the Government rules by staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives – although the force still received nearly 200 complaints day about lockdown breaches.
Police officers have engaged with “thousands of people across the county since the Government rules to stop the spread of Covid-19 were introduced and said that, in most cases, people were quick to understand and comply, meaning no enforcement was necessary.
Over the Easter weekend patrols were increased, with a focus on targeting hotspot areas that had been highlighted to the force by members of the community.
“The vast majority of people continued to act responsibly and stayed at home and avoided travelling to the countryside and parks,” said the police.
The force said that although it was receiving around 180 reports each day of alleged non-compliance with the guidance, including gatherings, house parties and non-essential businesses remaining open, the majority of these incidents were resolved through “advice and education, rather than enforcement”.
However, between 27th March and 13th April, 10 fixed penalty notices were issued, said the force in a statement, adding: “This shows that the overwhelming majority of people are abiding by the rules and are staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
“The force has worked with local authority partners in trading standards to tackle a small number of businesses and licensed premises who have not complied with the Government rules.”
A number of incidents have been dealt with by arrest and charge for other criminal offences, including a small number of assaults of emergency workers through spitting and coughing, anti-social behaviour and drug offences.
Ch Cons Gareth Morgan said: “This is absolutely a community effort and I want to thank the people of Staffordshire for continuing to follow the Government instructions to stay at home.
“Each one of us has a vital role to play to combat the spread of Covid-19. We all recognise this is a difficult time. However, these restrictions are vital to protect our families, our communities and the NHS.
“Since the emergency legislation came into effect we have only been required to take enforcement action in a limited number of situations, which shows that our approach is working and I am confident that the policing style and approach we have is the right one.
“We will not hesitate to use enforcement where necessary to deal with those who ignore the restrictions and we will never tolerate any form of assault on officers and emergency service workers such as coughing or spitting which is appalling behaviour.”
Report crime on staffordshire.police.uk/contactus. Always dial 999 in an emergency.