28,000 Covid breach allegations in Hampshire as family and neighbours report each other

MORE than 28,000 Covid rule breaches have been reported to police since the first lockdown was imposed.

New data obtained by The News shows Hampshire police received 28,085 reports to its Covid-19 breach report online.

These reports were received between April 2 last year and February 4 this year, meaning about 16 are reported each minute on average.

Officers were sent to 7,387 Covid-19 incidents within Hampshire between February 27 and February 4.

Police at a house on the corner of St Chad's Avenue and London Road in North End, Portsmouth, on January 30.

Some 1,201 of these were in Portsmouth.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: ‘All reports are risk assessed, and retrospective reports are not suitable for deployment. However, reports are collated and repeat locations and hotspot areas are identified to inform our patrol plans.

‘This means we have been able to be proactive about tackling ongoing suspected breaches of the current Health Protection Regulations. Those that blatantly breach the regulations can expect to face enforcement action.’

A member of the public had alerted officers to the party in St Chad’s Avenue in North End on January 30.

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Councillor David Fuller is chairman of the city council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel and has been regularly hearing from NHS bosses how the healthcare system is working in the pandemic.

Cllr Fuller said: ‘The numbers are going down, and again it’s a few irresponsible people that still want to go out partying.

‘I run a residential care home, I’ve seen how Covid affects people. It’s not very pleasant for people to go out and flout the rules is absolutely disgraceful.’

He added: ‘It’s terrible at the end of the day. Portsmouth needs to keep together as well as everywhere else and we need to beat it.’

Students at the University of Portsmouth have previously been threatened with expulsion over a 25-strong party in Catherine House.

Cllr Fuller said: ‘The fines should be double – they should be increased more. They need to look at increasing it and locking up people.

‘Some are just not taking it seriously enough. It’s a kick in the teeth for people out there who are following the rules.

‘We are going to come to the end of the tunnel – I would say to everybody: please keep to the rules.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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