The coronavirus outbreak has affected all of us.
The government announced new social distancing measures to try and help the spread of the disease. You can only leave your home for one of four reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
- any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
For more information, visit the government website.
You can find the full list of social restrictions by visiting this page.
How we will be enforcing the social distancing measures
This is a national emergency and we all need to play our part to stop the spread of the virus.
Officers and PCSOs will be visible in your community to make sure everybody is following the social distancing restrictions.
The social distancing restrictions apply to everybody. We trust that everyone will follow the advice and work with us to keep you safe.
If a person, gathering, or business is found in breach of the restrictions, we will:
- talk to them and help them understand the new restrictions
- explain the new guidance and ask them to comply as soon as possible
- make it clear that we are dealing with a national health emergency and they must obey
- reinforce the importance of complying so that their actions and behaviours do not harm others
- remind them that the measures are here to protect our NHS, our country and in particular the vulnerable
As a last resort, failure to comply will mean we will use our powers. We have the power to:
- disperse gatherings of three or more people
- remove a person from a gathering to their home
- close any premises which are deemed non-essential
- issue a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days
- issue a fixed penalty notice of £120 for second time offenders, doubling on each further repeat offence
If someone does not pay their fixed penalty notice, they could go to court, where magistrates can impose an unlimited fine.
If someone refuses to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and we may arrest them where deemed proportionate and necessary.
What you can do to help
The most important thing you can do is to follow the guidance and stay at home.
We know that many of you will follow this. If you see anyone who isn’t, keep your distance and remind them of the part we all have to play to help defeat the disease.
You can contact us to report a potential breach of the new restrictions, but be mindful that this is an extremely busy time. We ask you to trust that we will target the most problematic behaviour. This will only work if people make sensible choices and observe what they are being told.
You can advise us if there are large numbers of people congregating via live chat or calling 101.
I'm on bail. Do I still need to sign in?
Unless the officer involved in your case has said no, then yes, you still have to sign in.
Will you be able to respond to other incidents?
Yes. However, our priority is to help people in emergency situations, so they can get the help they need.
If you’re not in an emergency situation, help us do this by using this site.
You can find a wide range of help and advice, plus report a theft, attempted theft or damage to your buildings, vehicles or property quickly and easily. Use our search box on the homepage to get started.
You can also speak to someone via live chat. This service is available every day between 8am and midnight. Often, the wait time on live chat is less than calling us.
Our wait times are longer than normal, but someone will speak to you as soon as possible.
How can I volunteer in my community?
Lots of people have already been in touch asking us how they can help, and we’re working with lots of organisations who need it right now.
If you're interested in volunteering in your community please email: email@example.com
In the email, tell us your:
- where you live
- phone number
- email address
- skills, experience and qualifications that can help support others
Our team will be working to partner willing volunteers with local organisations and support services so that they can help others in the best possible way.
Where can I get more information?
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