“Follow the rules, play your part and do the right thing for Warwickshire.” This is the message from Assistant Chief Constable Alex Franklin-Smith and the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe today.
The two policing leaders are encouraging people to continue to take seriously the threat of coronavirus and help reduce its spread around the county.
ACC Franklin-Smith said: “We are committed to playing our part in reducing the transmission of COVID-19 and are continuing to work closely with health colleagues, Government, businesses, local authorities and our communities.
“We know the new regulations impact on everyone but the rules are clear and we all have a personal responsibility for following them to help stop the spread of this deadly virus.
“Under the new rules, people may not participate in social gatherings, in any place, in groups of more than 6. These rules apply across England, to all ages, to gatherings indoors and outdoors, in private homes, public outdoor spaces and venues such as pubs and restaurants, and these rules replace all previous regulations.”
ACC Franklin-Smith added: “The vast majority of the public in Warwickshire have followed the restrictions so far, making sacrifices to do so. We expect people will also take these new regulations seriously to protect themselves and their friends and family.
“Our approach to the new regulations will be to continue engaging, explaining and encouraging people to follow the new rules. However, we will disperse groups of over six and issue fines to those who refuse to comply.
“In most situations, police officers can resolve breaches without having to issue a fine. Where people just won’t listen, and are putting everyone at risk, we will take enforcement action.
“We will ensure we pay particular attention to those who regularly flout the rules and those areas where we are seeing the greatest numbers of COVID-19 cases in the county.”
Supporting the force’s approach, Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “It’s vitally important that everyone continues to do the right thing for Warwickshire to help keep COVID-19 transmission rates down and to protect the most vulnerable in society.
“We mustn’t put ourselves in a position where all of the progress achieved over the past few months is undone by people having a growing sense of complacency or a misplaced notion that COVID-19 doesn’t affect them. With transmission rates on the rise again, the reality is that continued vigilance is needed from everyone if we are to control the virus.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am well placed to see that agencies across the county are working together well to protect the most vulnerable in society. However, this is not something that they can achieve in isolation and the police, public health agencies and local authorities do need the co-operation of everyone in the county.
“I know that the vast majority of individuals and businesses are continuing to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously. However, for those that do flout the rules and put people at risk, there should be no misunderstanding that enforcement action can and will be taken to protect the county as a whole.”
As well as following the new ‘rule of six’, there are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other:
- Hands – keep washing your hands regularly
- Face – wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
- Space – stay at least 2 metres apart – or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions.
Anyone wishing to report breaches of the Health Protection Regulations can do so online on the Warwickshire Police website – www.warwickshire.police.uk.