Staffordshire Police thanks the county's communities for staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives
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Staffordshire Police thanks the county’s communities for continuing to follow the government rules by staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
Staffordshire 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, in most cases, people have been quick to understand and comply, meaning no enforcement has been necessary. Over the Easter weekend patrols were increased, with a focus on targeting ‘hotspot’ areas that have 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.
Although the force is receiving approximately 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 are resolved through advice and education, rather than enforcement. However, there has been a small minority of people who, despite the best efforts of officers, have refused to follow the instructions and officers have needed to use their enforcement powers. This has meant that between 27 March and 13 April ten fixed penalty notices have been issued. 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. The force is also continuing to proactively target those who seek to cause harm to communities and vulnerable people and is working closely with partner agencies and support services to make sure victims get the support they need.
Chief Constable 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. However 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.
“I want to pay tribute to all officers and staff who, alongside other emergency workers, NHS staff and other key workers, are on the frontline. They are doing outstanding work in hard times and they are seeing a great amount of support and thanks from the public. Please continue to do the right thing – stay at home and save lives.”
You can report crime on our website www.staffordshire.police.uk/contactus. Always dial 999 in an emergency.
For Coronavirus (COVID-19) information visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Please note, the NPCC reported data of four Fixed Penalty Notices issued was a provisional figure. As of 14 April, the figure was 10.