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Policing the Lockdown

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TVP Chief Constable John Campbell

From John Campbell, Chief Constable, Thames Valley Police

On Wednesday 15th April, the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) released figures of the total number of fines that have been given out by police forces across the country for breaches of the Coronavirus restrictions between 27th March and 13th April.

During this time Thames Valley Police has handed out 219 Fixed Penalty Notices.

This is an unprecedented public health emergency and an extraordinary national effort is needed to fight this virus.

Since the new measures were introduced we have had thousands of positive interactions with the public and the overwhelming majority of people have had either a legitimate purpose for being out, or have listened to the advice given by our officers.

However, on some occasions we have had to enforce the legislation. In the last three weeks we have fined a total of 219 people of the 2.3 million population in the Thames Valley.

Most of the fines we have issued have been to groups, inappropriately gathering together in public places, or driving together in a car, for example ten fines were given to one group alone.

We have also made a number of arrests which have led to people being jailed for breaching Coronavirus restrictions or coughing at officers or members of the public.

Some of these breaches have been identified by patrol officers but a significant number have been reported by the public. In particular this Easter Weekend, as with many Forces, we had a significant increase in these types of calls.

We will continue to engage with the public, explain the restrictions and encourage people to stay indoors. However, when necessary, we will take enforcement action if people are not listening to the advice and are putting others at risk.

The restrictions are in place to protect the public and protect the NHS.

The great majority of the public have been staying in and stopping the spread of the pandemic, and I want to thank them for their ongoing cooperation and support.

John Campbell
Chief Constable, Thames Valley Police

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