Coronavirus - Commissioner's statement on Emergency Legislation
Humberside Police, together with other police forces throughout the country, has been given new powers of enforcement to assist in protecting the public and ensuring appropriate behaviours to protect us all during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) emergency period.
Across northern Lincolnshire, Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire, the vast majority of people are taking heed of the new rules the Government has introduced and I thank them for their commitment to saving lives by limiting opportunities for the virus to spread. The granting of new police powers will hopefully add emphasis, for those who require it, that wilful flouting of the rules and guidance cannot be allowed to continue, in the interests of us all. This is about saving lives and preserving the ability of our National Health Service to respond not only to Covid-19 but to other threats to the health of the public during this time of growing and unprecedented pressure on the NHS.
I have discussed these measures with the Chief Constable and how he intends his officers and staff to deal with members of the public who may be in breach of Government instructions. He is keen that the progress made in recent years, of the force to re-engage with our communities, is actually built upon during this period and not undermined. That is something I encourage and support so it is important a graduated response by the police is employed: first actions will be to engage, explain and encourage those creating risk to return home, obey social distancing and not to congregate. Ultimately if this does not create the right response, the additional powers are options and will be used at the discretion of the officers concerned.
The new powers are intended to ensure people stay at home and avoid non-essential travel. From today, if members of the public do not comply the police may:
- instruct them to go home, leave an area or disperse
- ensure parents are taking necessary steps to stop their children breaking these rules
- issue a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days
- issue a fixed penalty notice of £120 for second time offenders, doubling on each further repeat offence
I ask everyone to comply with the Government rules and support all our emergency services and the NHS during this period. I also thank all our public services and those operating within them for continuing to keep essential services operating. They are people with families, loved ones and the same worries and concerns as the rest of us. Your actions in the coming weeks can either assist them or undermine them. Please make the right choices.
Posted on Friday 27th March 2020