Police warn they will 'collectively target' those who flout Covid restrictions

With the new national restrictions being introduced in England on Thursday, police are warning those who break the rules will face warn of 'greater levels of enforcement' for COVID rule breakers.

The following open letter has been issued on behalf of the five North West Chief Constables on policing current Covid 19 restrictions:

As the Police Chiefs responsible for the North West we have seen first-hand the misery the pandemic has caused, but we have also seen great support from the majority of our communities. We have tried to ensure we have maintained the principle of policing with consent, that sets apart policing in this country from other parts of the world. Along with police forces nationally, we have taken a very measured approach to enforcement from the start of the pandemic, recognising the restrictions placed on all our lives were unprecedented. We used the 4E's model of Engage, Explain, Encourage and only as a last resort Enforce, in relation to issuing Fixed Penalty Notices for breaching the Coronavirus legislation.

Sadly we have seen a minority right across the North West who seem incapable of demonstrating any civic responsibility and complying with the regulations. We know from focus groups and regional insight work the majority of the public would wish to see the Police Service taking a consistent and robust approach to enforcement. Since local restrictions have been necessary across large parts of the North West we have taken a firmer stance on enforcing the restrictions, moving more quickly to issuing Fixed Penalty Notices for those deliberately flouting the law and putting lives at risk.

As we head into further significant restrictions from 00.01 on Thursday 5 November 2020 we wanted to give these collective messages:

• To the majority of our communities who have tried so hard to comply with restrictions, please carry on. We know how hard this is, but we need to maintain that shared purpose we had in the first lockdown to defeat the virus and, ultimately, save lives.

• To the minority who feel the restrictions don't apply to them be prepared to face the consequences of greater levels of enforcement. We will collectively target those who flout the restrictions, particularly those organising large gatherings and music events, repeatedly holding parties or deliberately causing harm to our communities by not following the restrictions, such as self-isolating where necessary.

• Where we have issued Fixed Penalty notices a significant proportion of recipients think they can ignore them. We are therefore seeking support from Government and the Judiciary to consider how we bring these people to justice rapidly.

Let us all do everything we can to get through this most awful of times and prevent any further suffering across the North West.

Yours sincerely

Darren Martland, Chief Constable Cheshire Constabulary

Michelle Skeer, Chief Constable Cumbria Constabulary

Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable Greater Manchester Police

Andy Rhodes, Chief Constable Lancashire Constabulary

Andy Cooke, Chief Constable Merseyside Police



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Mark Russell
Wednesday 4th November 2020 at 3:13 pm
Our chief constable can’t even sort out anti social parking that’s been going on for years so how is he expecting to manage this? Don’t panic mr manering
Kathryn Blackburn
Wednesday 4th November 2020 at 4:37 pm
Well that's us told then. I wont even mention the war.
Alan Brough
Wednesday 4th November 2020 at 9:53 pm
Super-spreader event going on in Alderley Edge tonight with drunk teenagers stumbling around the village in search of a last drink before lockdown.
Julian Barlow
Thursday 5th November 2020 at 9:58 am
This morning I woke up to see my wife less than 2 meters away. I pepper sprayed her and reported her to MI5.
Barbara Burgess
Thursday 5th November 2020 at 10:05 am
Not before time. There is a small minority of people who think the rules do not apply to them. If they were allowed to continue I suspect t they would be the ones muttering because they had no job and therefore no money. Please do think of innocent people who are prepared to obey the rules because they want to be able to have jobs and provide for their families
Gillian Slater
Thursday 5th November 2020 at 10:20 am
Alan Brough . Hi just wondered, did this event take place last night or do you know if it was thwarted?
Kathryn Blackburn
Thursday 5th November 2020 at 12:16 pm
FGS have you not taken on board how many people can be out and about working or going into peoples homes within the regulations. So many that this lockdown will make no more difference than being in the Tier system, which was working as Boris admitted yesterday. The figures used for this second lockdown were out of date. Talk about headless chickens.
Louise Wood
Thursday 5th November 2020 at 4:47 pm
Don't mention Police or Rules to me!
Sheila Grindrod
Thursday 5th November 2020 at 7:17 pm
Totally agree Diane, couldn't have said it better myself.
Simon Worthington
Thursday 5th November 2020 at 9:03 pm
Plod police by consent. That is disappearing fast.
Diane Holcroft
Saturday 7th November 2020 at 6:59 am
Some great comment here. Thanks for the humorous ones
Kareem Masdoon
Saturday 7th November 2020 at 8:23 pm
Julian Barlow...Thanks for the humour (much needed in these grim times).