The renewed government advice regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19) has been much reported in the media and there has also been articles from different police forces throughout the country explaining their approach to the guidelines and how these will be enforced.
Now that people can travel further, it is quite possible that the public will encounter different approaches by different forces, therefore, if you have a parent you can now visit, or wish to meet a friend socially in an open space in an area which is not where you live, then you may wish to look at the relevant police forces` website to familairise yourself with how the rules and guidance are being responded to.
This week, rather than write a summary of the Hampshire Constabulary updated guidance, I have copied it directly for accuracy, so for those reader`s who live in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, this is what is relevant to you.
Hampshire Constabulary continue to patrol using the Engage, Explain and Encourage method, rather than enforce the rules, except where there are serious breaches. This is the way that officers have been instructed to patrol since the start of the lockdown and it has worked extremely well, with only a few people being dealt with formally.
We are working hard to keep you safe from coronavirus and from crime.
We are still responding to emergency and high-priority calls. But if it’s not an emergency or urgent, please use our online services instead of calling us.
What you need to do
To slow the spread of the coronavirus and to allow us to focus on emergencies, please follow the government guidance.
We know that the vast majority of you are following the guidance and we are very grateful to you.
What we are doing
We are patrolling and talking to people if we think they are doing something that is against the guidelines.
If there is a problem we want to resolve it by communicating clearly and encouraging people to behave responsibly.
As a last resort we can enforce the coronavirus law by taking people home and by fining them.
Reporting a social distancing violation
If you see something you think is a serious violation of the coronavirus law you can report it online.
Please make sure you understand what is and is not allowed before you get in touch with us.
What is and isn’t allowed
The law says that nobody can be outside their homes without a reasonable excuse.
What constitutes a reasonable excuse can vary depending on the exact situation. But it is likely to be reasonable to be out for:
- food, including alcohol and other luxuries
- tools and supplies to fix something broken at home
- any medical reason, including for pets and to help someone else with their medical needs
- escaping an abusive or other dangerous situation at home
- work, if you cannot work from home
- taking children to school or childcare, if you are a critical worker or care for a vulnerable child
- moving house, if you cannot delay your move
In England it is likely to be reasonable to be out to:
- exercise as much as you like, including walking, running, cycling, yoga, tennis, golf and tending an allotment
- relax outdoors in parks and other public spaces, including sunbathing and picnicking
- drive as far as you like for exercise or leisure
- spend time outdoors with one other person not from your household
In Wales it is likely to be reasonable to be out to:
- exercise once a day, including walking, running, cycling, yoga and tending an allotment
- drive a short distance for exercise
Public gatherings of more than two people who don’t live together are banned. This includes leisure activities above like exercise and picnics.
Exceptions include funerals attended by immediate family members or people working together who cannot work from home.
Shops selling food, drink, medicines and other supplies are allowed to stay open. Places like cafes, restaurants and pubs are only allowed to open for takeaway.
What we want you to tell us about
We particularly want you to tell us if you see things like:
- a large gathering of people from different households, in the park or on the streets
- a house party with people who don’t live at the house
- people drinking together at a pub, bar, cafe or restaurant
- a crowded shop where people are refusing to keep their distance from each other
Hampshire Constabulary continue to monitor the government guidance, and this, together with what is seen by officers on patrol, will dictate any changes that may be needed. These will be communicated through our media department and website.
PC 1860 Mark Ranola.
Yateley Police Office.