Thanks for supporting ‘stay home’ call − action taken against minority
The vast majority of people in the West Midlands are complying with the nation’s call to minimise public contact and save lives by staying at home.
We’re hugely grateful for everyone’s cooperation during these testing times.
Your support means we’re able to dedicate more officer time to patrolling key locations across the region, keep people safe and respond to emergencies.
However, we have felt it necessary to take firm action against a handful of people who are flouting the government’s instruction or who are actively using the fear of Covid-19 against our frontline officers.
Yesterday (31 March) we were alerted to an alarm activation at Dudley Zoo where we found a man had broken into a restaurant area and was helping himself to beers and wine.
A 44-year-old man was charged with burglary and contravening a restriction of movement during an emergency period − the new law introduced by the government last week. He was bailed to appear at Dudley Magistrates Court on 30 April.
We’d previously charged another man under the same new legislation following claims he refused to disperse from the scene of a road collision in Oldbury on 27 March.
It’s alleged he was among several people who’d gathered at the crash in Tividale Road but, unlike others who quickly move on, began arguing with officers and refused to budge. A 56-year-old man has appeared at court and bailed till 12 May.
Unfortunately we’ve also had to deal with some people accused of deliberately coughing at police officers and members of the public after claiming they are infected with coronavirus.
A man appeared in Birmingham Magistrates Court yesterday charged with three counts of assaulting emergency service workers.
It’s claimed he deliberately coughed at the officers at a house in Sunningdale Road, Tyseley, on Sunday (29 March) following community concerns a group of people were ignoring the nation’s Covid-19 restrictions by gathering inside.
He’s been remanded into prison for sentencing on 28 April.
Superintendent Jane Bailey from our Criminal Justice Department, said: “We’re talking about a tiny, tiny minority of people who are allegedly flouting the government’s public safety order by gathering in groups.
“Our focus is to speak with people when we’re out and about on patrols, help where we can and to stress the importance of social distancing to stifle the virus’ spread.
“Officers will educate anyone who is unclear what’s being asked of them and encourage compliance with the government’s instruction.
“Taking firmer action or enforcement will only be a last resort for us as I’m sure most people appreciate the seriousness of the situation we’re in and want to do the right thing."
During the Covid-19 restrictions people are only allowed to leave home for the following very limited purposes:
• Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;
• One form of exercise a day − for example, a run, walk or cycle − alone or with members of their household;
• Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
• Travelling to and from work, but only where they cannot work from home.