Coronavirus: Portsmouth police stop people 'just going out for a drive' to Portsdown Hill

POLICE in Portsmouth are stopping people taking a leisure drive to Portsdown Hill as officers enforce the nationwide lockdown.

Sunday, 29th March 2020, 4:22 pm

Police in Hampshire tweeted a reminder that ‘going out for a drive’ to car parks on Portsdown Hill and in Farlington, Portsmouth. are ‘not essential journeys’.

The message said: ‘A number of people advised overnight about just going out for a drive as they have been stuck indoors.

‘Parking in car parks on #PortsdownHill & #Farlington are not essential journeys.

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‘All apologetic & headed straight home but please take notice & #StayHomeSaveLives.’

The message also included the new police regulations on the lockdown, which means anyone outdoors without a valid reason may be committing an offence.

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Police have been given the power to issue £60 fines for non-compliance. If paid within 14 days they are reduced to £30. Repeat offenders' fines double each time. If a fine is not paid the matter will be taken to court and magistrates can impose an unlimited fine.

Police are patrolling the Portsmouth area to ensure people follow the rules of the nationwide lockdown. Picture: Habibur Rahman

If a fine is paid, no criminal offences are recorded as having been committed.

On Friday, assistant chief constable Scott Chilton told The News that officers would fine people as a ‘last resort’.

He said: ‘It’s disappointing if people have to issue a ticket because you don’t take personal responsibility for what is common sense.’