Devon and Cornwall Police says driving miles to beauty spots to exercise is ‘not reasonable’

Police in Devon and Cornwall says it is ‘not reasonable’ to drive miles to beauty spots to exercise if you can set off from home.

Police said discussions on what the new coronavirus stay-at-home lockdown laws allowed took into account if a person’s actions were considered reasonable or not.

Devon and Cornwall Police said, so far, officers had not had to use any enforcement and would only do so ‘as a last resort’.

The force said officers would use their own judgement on each individual case to decide if someone was complying.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: “There has been much discussion around what the legislation does and doesn’t specifically prohibit.

“The legal aspects of the legislation are based upon whether a person’s actions are reasonable or not.

“Officers will continue to make individual judgements based on the specific circumstances presented to them.”

Police said the ‘key’ to making the lockdown legislation work for everyone in the county – and across the country – was for people to be reasonable.

The spokesperson said: “If you can exercise with a run or a walk near your home, it is reasonable for you to do so.

“Our interpretation is that it is not reasonable, for the majority, to drive miles to a specific place such as a beauty spot.

“It is also not within the spirit of what we are trying to achieve if you drive from Devon to the coast of Cornwall for surfing, regardless of whether that is ‘lawful’ or not.”

“We are grateful that our communities understand what we are all trying to achieve together and are supporting us with this,” the spokesperson added.

“We have not had to use any enforcement, and will only use this as a last resort. Officers will continue to use discretion, and police with consent.”

Police said officers will continue to speak to people they meet, to reassure and educate during the pandemic.

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