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Police recorded almost 6,000 lockdown breaches in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 05:53 12 November 2020 | UPDATED: 08:45 12 November 2020

A police officer walks through Ipswich during the first coronavirus lockdown. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A police officer walks through Ipswich during the first coronavirus lockdown. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Almost 6,000 reports of people breaking lockdown rules were recorded by police between March and October as officers dealt with people flouting coronavirus rules.

In all, Suffolk police were alerted to lockdown breaches 5,879 times between March 27 and October 7.

More than half of all reports were recorded in April, when police were alerted 2,815 times. The most reports in a single day were made over Easter weekend on April 11, when police were contacted 195 times.

In all, 88 warnings were issued by police to people out in public or gathering together inside on Good Friday and Easter Saturday.

MORE: Good Friday lockdown breaches

In early April, police patrols were stepped in the Norwich Road area of Ipswich amid fears the lockdown rules were being flouted by large groups of people meeting there.

MORE: Patrols in Norwich Road amid reports of people flouting lockdown

A further 2,100 reports were made to police in May – the only other month where more than 1,000 reports were made.

Between March 26 and October 3, Suffolk police handed out 291 fines for breaking coronavirus regulations.

As during the first lockdown, the police’s approach is to “engage, explain and encourage” those who are breaking the rules, with enforcement a last resort.

In all, 291 fines were handed out in the county for breaching lockdown rules between March 26 and October 3.

Police said it was vital people complied with the new lockdown measures. The force was given a six-figure sum to help it enforce virus regulations last month.

MORE: Suffolk police issue 289 fines for breaking Covid-19 restrictions

A spokesman said: “We all need to show restraint, discipline and common sense over the coming month – this is a public health emergency where a collective responsibility is needed to respect each other’s concerns.

“It is imperative people comply with the new measures to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed and to ensure lives are saved. We all need to work together to protect our NHS and other public services, not just the police.

“Police will engage with people sensibly, proportionately, fairly, and using the well-established 4Es approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging. Any enforcement has always been a last resort.”

Last month an Ipswich barber who broke Covid-19 rules was fine £1,000 after continuing to work for four days after developing virus symptoms.

MORE: Ipswich barber’s shop which broke Covid-19 rules gets £1,000 penalty

A wedding organiser in Margaretting, near the A12 close to Chelmsford, was also fined £10,000 last month after breaking coronavirus rules to hold a wedding party for 80 people.

MORE: Wedding organiser fined £10k for holding 80-guest ceremony


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