Yorkshire Police chief warns officers will use new powers if people break coronavirus lockdown rules

A West Yorkshire Police chief has said that officers will use new enforcement powers if people break the coronavirus lockdown rules.

By Ian Hirst
Friday, 27th March 2020, 10:26 am
Updated Friday, 27th March 2020, 10:28 am

WYP Chief Constable John Robins QPM, explains that officers will have to stop and speak with people to establish why they are on the road.

He says officers will now use the new police powers when they need to - especially with people who are "deliberately breaching the restrictions and putting other people’s lives at risk."

The Home Office announced on Thursday that people iho break the coronavirus lockdown rules will face arrest and fines.

WYP Chief Constable John Robins QPM,

Officers can also tell them to go home, leave or disperse an area and ensure parents are taking necessary steps to stop their children breaking the law.

Those who refuse to comply could be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.

Second-time offenders could be issued a fixed penalty notice of £120, doubling on each further repeat offence.

Those who do not pay the penalty can be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable John Robins QPM's said: ""The Coronavirus emergency is a major challenge for our health and social care services. To help the NHS and Social Care system in West Yorkshire manage the impact of Coronavirus and to save lives, new restrictions have been placed upon us all.

"Following the self-isolation and social distancing restrictions will keep people safe, slow the spread of Coronavirus, stop the NHS from being overwhelmed and help to save lives.

"The police have been granted new powers to enforce the new restrictions, to help keep people safe and slow the spread.

"Thankfully, I know that the vast majority of people across West Yorkshire are heeding the advice and guidance and I want to thank them for that.

"Where they are not, the approach of my officers and staff will be to encourage, explain and engage to seek compliance.

"Ultimately though, some people will choose not to comply, so I have had to tell my officers and staff to use these new powers where they need to - especially with people who are deliberately breaching the restrictions and putting other people’s lives at risk.

"In order to establish why people are out and about on the roads, my officers will have to stop and speak with even more people than usual. I hope you will understand they are just doing their job, just trying to keep us all safe.

"These new restrictions and police powers are about halting the spread of the virus.

"I believe we have the public’s support to do this and we will do it in a reasonable and proportionate way, but we will need to enforce them when we have to.

"My officers and staff continue to work relentlessly, twenty four hours a day, across West Yorkshire to reduce crime, protect the vulnerable and provide reassurance during this time of national crisis.

"We will continue to keep the people of West Yorkshire safe and feeling safe. Please play your part by abiding by the temporary restrictions."