As the reality of a second lockdown dawns and we prepare to enter another incredibly difficult time, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings has provided a response to the new rules:
“It is both disappointing and alarming that we are now to enter a second lock-down.
“It is disappointing because it seems that all the sacrifices that were made the first time, and the opportunities that gave to put in place a national test, trace and isolate system, were squandered.
“Many lives and livelihoods are being lost, and the well-being of all has been affected, as a result.
“It is alarming because the virus is not being contained and the winter will soon be upon us when it will spread more vigorously.
“A second lock-down will only work if this time the track, trace and isolate plan is delivered and if the restrictions are fully observed.
“If the police are to enforce the new measures with full public support, the public will need to feel that this time the government has a realistic plan and communicates it to us clearly and consistently. In particular, we need to know when it will be safe to ease the lock-down. What is the road map out?
“People have become less trusting because the national approach to suppressing the virus has seemed too much like whack-a-mole and less like a consistent strategy with a clear endpoint.
“As a result we have started to see too many people flouting the rules and gathering unsafely in numbers, especially recently.
“The infection is potentially life-threatening in itself and could lead to many others with serious illnesses not being able to access treatment speedily if the NHS becomes overwhelmed again this winter.
“The police will continue to seek to persuade people to obey the law, but no one should be in any doubt that the law will be enforced, for all our sakes.”