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Response to Prime Minister's Covid-19 update

22 Sep 2020

Response to Prime Minister's Covid-19 update: Ega0MTyXgAAT54O

The Prime Minister has announced a series of new measures as part of the government’s response to coronavirus.

Responding to this update, Martin Hewitt, the chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said:

“The rise in the spread of the virus should concern us all, and it should be everyone’s priority to drive these numbers down. The country is at a critical point, and personal choices will matter in the weeks and months to come.

“Individuals, businesses and households all have a responsibility to ensure the virus is suppressed, and police will play their part in supporting the public to navigate the measures in place for our safety.

“We continue to thank the vast majority of the public for sticking to the rules and following the guidance in place to limit the spread of the virus. A small minority, however, are still choosing to flout the rules, and are consciously making decisions which put lives at risk – they should expect to have enforcement action taken against them.

“Our approach of engaging with people and explaining the regulations in place will remain. The vast majority of situations are resolved following those two stages, with little need for further encouragement or enforcement action to be taken.

“Police will continue to work with their communities and only issue fines as a last resort, however the time for encouraging those who knowingly flout the rules with no sense of guilt about the risks they are presenting has passed.

“Chiefs will be stepping up patrols in high risk areas and will proactively work with businesses, licensing authorities and local authorities to ensure the rules are being followed. Forces will also continue to respond to crime in the normal way, assessed against the greatest risk of harm.

“If members of the public are concerned that the law is being broken or they are experiencing anti-social behaviour, they can report this to the police, who will consider the most appropriate response and will target the most problematic behaviour. Reports should be made through online reporting wherever possible, and 999 should only be used in an emergency.”