Coronavirus in Portsmouth: Shops and bars reopening comes with police warning over 'blatant breaches' of Covid rules

A SENIOR police officer has said officers will ‘use enforcement as a last resort’ as restrictions eased further today.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 4:47 pm
Updated Monday, 12th April 2021, 4:52 pm

Assistant Chief Constable Maggie Blyth said Hampshire officers will continue to first engage, explain and encourage people to stick to the rules.

Non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality reopened today.

But the senior officer warned ‘blatant breaches’ would still be met with a fine.

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Queue outside Primark in Portsmouth on April 12, 2021. Picture: Habibur Rahman

She said: ‘Today marks the start of some easing of restrictions and while the move towards normal life is welcome, there are rules still in place and that’s important to remember when planning activities with family and friends.

‘We can’t become complacent and risk undermining what we’ve achieved so far.

‘We are still in the midst of a pandemic and everyone’s priority needs to be the safety of themselves and others.

‘It’s important to remember that you can only meet friends and family outdoors, and that the rule of six or two households remains in place.

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‘We will continue to use the tried and tested approach of engaging, explaining, and encouraging with those that we come into contact with in our communities.

‘We will use enforcement as a last resort, but those involved in blatant breaches of the Health Protection Regulations, such as at indoor parties, can still expect to receive a fine.

‘Our local Neighbourhood Policing Teams have identified local areas that may see increased numbers of people outdoors and alongside our partners we have put in place regular patrols and will provide support to businesses and individuals as needed, to ensure that everyone stays safe.’

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