Suffolk Police warn they 'won't tolerate time wasters who knowingly break the rules' ahead of second lockdown
Police are warning they 'won't tolerate time wasters' in Suffolk who 'recklessly ignore' the latest coronavirus regulations ahead of the county heading into lockdown, along with the rest of England, tomorrow.
Officers in the county are urging people to 'show restraint, discipline and common sense' over the next month while they are told to stay at home and avoid meeting people they don't live with – except for specific purposes. Meanwhile, non-essential businesses will also close as part of the measures put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Temporary Chief Superintendent Kim Warner said rule-breakers who ignore the rules and organise large gatherings, music events or large parties should expect to receive a fine.
He said: "We all need to show restraint, discipline and common sense over the coming month – this is a public health emergency where a collective responsibility is needed to respect each other’s concerns.
"It is imperative people comply with the new lockdown measures to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed and to ensure lives are saved.
"We all need to work together to protect our NHS and other public services, not just the police."
T/Chf Supt Warner said officers will engage with people 'sensibly, proportionately and fairly' using the '4Es' approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging – with enforcement always being a 'last resort'.
"However, not following the measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus is unacceptable, so we won’t tolerate time wasters who knowingly break the rules," he added.
"People recklessly ignoring the regulations by organising large gatherings, music events, or holding large parties should expect to receive a fixed penalty notice.
"We continue to keep working closely with our partners to keep Suffolk as safe as possible and despite the pandemic Suffolk Constabulary remain focussed on our key role – keeping Suffolk people safe and catching criminals.”
It comes as MPs backed the new four-week lockdown for England today, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of an 'existential threat' to the NHS without action to curb the spread of the disease.
The Commons voted by 516 to 38 for the new restrictions which will be in place until at least December 2.
The move came as the NHS in England was set to move into its highest alert level – level 4 – from midnight amid a continuing rise in coronavirus patients needing hospital care.