Devon and Cornwall Police issues 172 fines and receives 1,230 Covid-related calls during second national lockdown

Devon and Cornwall Police received 1,230 Covid-related calls and dished out 172 fines to rule-breakers during the second national lockdown, the force has revealed.

Officers across both counties recorded 2,001 ‘public engagements’ specifically because of the virus between November 5 and December 1 while the nation was in Tier 4 restrictions.

Ninety-five of the penalty notices issued were for indoor gatherings, and some 563 of the called were because of illegal get-togethers.

Devon is now subject to Tier 2 restrictions, while Cornwall has the lowest Tier 1 rules.

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew said today: “The last month has been tough for all of our communities and also for our own staff.

“The vast majority of our communities have remained compliant and continue to respect the regulations which are there for everyone’s safety.

“Police engagement with our public in the last month has shown us our community value the visibility and reassurance of proactive police engagement concerning Covid-19.

“Of the 2,000 engagements recorded outside of enforcement, 57 per cent of those were proactively generated by officers and PCSOs.

“While we have issued a number of fixed-penalty notices when reasonable and proportionate, in most cases the advice, guidance and encouragement given to the public has been enough to ensure the safety of all.”

Devon and Cornwall Police is one of only two forces in England which has seen a split of Tier 1 and 2 areas from Wednesday, December 2.

Dedicated ‘Covid cars’ will be on patrol throughout the force area through December.

ACC Mayhew added: “While policing across two tiers is a challenge, our 4Es approach  (encouragement, education and engagement – with enforcement as a final option) does not change.

“We do not want people to fear the tiers, it is a case of everyone having a responsibility to understand the changes to legislation and the role they personally play in preventing spread of Covid-19.

“The new legislation is clear that anyone from a Tier 2 area coming to a Tier 1 area such as Cornwall must abide by those restrictions of the higher tier.

“That doesn’t mean issuing a fixed penalty notice to anyone travelling to Cornwall from higher-tiered areas.

“What it does mean is respecting communities and continuing vigilance around hygiene and basic measures to prevent Covid-19 spread.

“With Christmas almost upon us and the period of reduced restrictions for December 23 to December 27 already announced, this gives everyone the chance to further comply with regulations and ensure all the communities of Devon and Cornwall remain with lower numbers of Covid-19 transmission.

“We want all of the force area to feel safe and be safe – so play your part and respect the legislation.

“This is now, not forever, with your compliance we are likely to see restrictions reduced more quickly and a safe return to normality for all of us.”

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