Police renew Covid rules warning as force receives 120 breach tip-offs a week

Suffolk police control room Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE

Suffolk police control room Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE - Credit: Archant

Police have warned that flagrant breaches of public health regulations will be met with fines as it emerged that Suffolk Constabulary was receiving an average of 120 tip-offs per week about people breaking Covid-19 rules.

The force reminded the public that anyone blatantly breaching regulations should expect a fixed penalty notice, as the county faces the possibility of living under tier three restrictions if infection rates continue rising.

In his most recent column for this newspaper, Suffolk's chief constable, Steve Jupp revealed that the force was receiving an average weekly total of 120 items of intelligence from the public or partner agencies regarding breaches of Covid legislation.

Mr Jupp said his officers would continue to apply the 'four Es' approach and engage, explain, encourage before turning to enforcement.

He said that breaches of rules around gatherings accounted for about 40% of the intelligence received. 

On Saturday, government announced that the planned relaxation of Covid rules at Christmas would no longer go ahead in London and much of south-east England, while 'Christmas bubbles' of three households would only be allowed elsewhere on Christmas Day, rather than the five days initially approved.

It came following a rise in cases of coronavirus and amid warning of a new variant of the virus being up to 70% more transmissible than previous types.

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On Monday, the national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales told Sky News that, with non-Covid demand still as high as ever, "knocking on people's door on Christmas Day, checking there are not eight people sitting around the dinner table, will not be a priority". 

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “We must all understand the dangers of the rapid spread of this new variant of Covid-19. 

"Most people will want to do the right thing to protect public health and the health of their loved ones. 

"We urge everyone to follow the rules, and those who blatantly breach the regulations should expect to receive a fixed penalty notice.”

Suffolk police advised anyone wishing to report a breach of regulations to visit the police.uk website and click on the link at the top of the page.