Devon and Cornwall Police dishes out 36 fines and receives 885 Covid-related calls in first week of third national lockdown

Devon and Cornwall Police has received 885 Covid-related calls in six days since a third national lockdown came into force – dishing out 36 fines.

Officers have taken some form of action in relation to 699 of the reports, a spokesperson revealed today.

Fixed-penalty notices have been given for indoor and outdoor gatherings, people leaving their homes without a reasonable excuse, and after more than 800 stop-checks on the roads.

The constabulary has long championed an ‘engage, explain and encourage’ stance on the Government’s coronavirus restrictions, with enforcement previously described as a ‘last resort’.

It says reported crime across the force area has dropped by 11 per cent since the nation went into its third lockdown.

In a statement issued this evening, a Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: “Since the start of the national lockdown on Tuesday 5 January through to Sunday 10 January, we have received in the region of 885 Covid-related reports of which 699 were deemed suitable for 3Es action (Engage, Explain and Encourage).

“Thirty-six fixed penalty notices have been issued, this includes nine for outdoor gatherings, four for leaving house without reasonable excuse, and for 15 indoor gatherings.

“We have undertaken high-visibility patrols across the force which has resulted in over 800 stop-checks and around a dozen fixed-penalty notices being issued.

“Our roads do appear to be quieter as shown by the notable reduction in road traffic collisions since lockdown, and crime is down around 11 per cent compared to pre-lockdown figures.

“999 calls are down around ten per cent, but calls and contact to our 101 service is up around 23 per cent compared to the week prior to lockdown.

“Devon and Cornwall Police operate over the largest geographical force in the country and we cannot be everywhere at once, so it is vital that all are doing their part in adhering to the rules of lockdown as this will ultimately save lives.

“The figures show the vast majority of communities are complying with the regulations and we will always look to respond to all calls where non-compliance is being reported.

“We continue with a 4Es approach and would reiterate that personal responsibility from all of our communities remains critical.

“We ask our communities to follow the spirit of the Government’s Covid-19 guidance, not just the letter of the law.”

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