Force Approach to COVID Breaches Welcomed

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings has backed South Yorkshire Police’s approach to tackling breaches of the COVID legislation.

Earlier this week the force thanked the public of South Yorkshire for heeding government advice to ‘stay home and stay safe’ over the bank holiday weekend.

Overall, since the restrictions were imposed on 16 March 2020, the majority of residents have adhered to the advice and only a very small number have needed to be reminded about their actions.

South Yorkshire Police has followed the ‘Engage, Explain, Encourage and Enforce’ approach that has seen most individuals and communities making sensible decisions about unnecessary journeys and listening to police advice when give.

On 26 March the Government announced new public health regulations to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. These measure entitles police officers to issue individuals with fixed penalty fines if they failed to comply after officers had engaged with them, explained the risks and encouraged voluntary compliance.

Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend just 24 Fixed Penalty Notices were issued, most commonly in response to non-essential travel.

Dr Alan Billings, said: “I am pleased to see that overall the public of South Yorkshire have voluntarily complied with the legislation.

“South Yorkshire Police has acted appropriately and proportionately to engage, explain and educate individuals and small parts of communities where breaches have been made. This has meant that fixed penalty notices have only been given in a small number of circumstances where there has been continued breaches and refusal to follow officer instructions.

“Over the coming weeks, as the COVID crisis reaches its peak, it is critical that we all continue to follow government advice to ensure that we are in the best position to reduce demand on our NHS services and to enable the country to start to get back to normality as soon as it is safe to do so.”