Police warning to ‘think twice’ over bank holiday behaviour

Police in Devon and Cornwall have urged people to ‘think twice’ about their actions this bank holiday weekend, as the country remains in lockdown.

Mike Smallcombe www.devonlive.com

Temperatures are set to soar for the first part of the three day break, while Friday also marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Councils, emergency services and organisations across the region are pleading with holidaymakers and second home owners to stay away, while locals are being reminded to not break the current lockdown rules and head to public spaces in droves in a bid to make the most of the weather.

Devon and Cornwall Police is involved in a partnership campaign called ‘Think Twice’, which focuses on people making the right decisions to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The message is before you decide to leave the house, ‘Think Twice’, as your actions count.

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew said: “This is an unprecedented public health emergency and it is taking an unprecedented national effort to fight this virus. What we do collectively can mean the difference between saving lives and risking lives.

“The lockdown that we are currently living through affects us; not being able to be with family or friends; impacts on peoples work and businesses; financial concerns and the impact that this plays on our mental health – this is a challenging time.

“We need to do all we can to prevent this virus from gaining the ability to escalate further. So I am asking you to ‘Think Twice’ before you consider leaving your home.”

ACC Mayhew said one particularly poignant event, which may tempt people to relax their compliance with the current government restrictions, is VE Day.

“VE Day allows us to all take some time to reflect on the sacrifice, courage and determination of those who played their part during the Second World War,” ACC Mayhew added.

“This is something that we should all keep at the front of our minds as we are all asked to do our part to help tackle the spread of this deadly virus. Please find the time to mark the VE Day celebrations and to do so in a safe way.

“Now is not the time to relax social distancing measures and to pop and see a few friends. The Government direction, at this time, continues to be to socially distance and it is important that we all adhere to it.

Devon and Cornwall is understandably proud of its renowned stunning coastlines, wide open spaces and gallons of fresh air and thrive from the millions of visitors who come to enjoy our part of the world each year.

However, the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK has changed our day to day lives while the government is calling for the nation to stop all non essential travel in a bid to stop the spread of the disease that has so tragically claimed lives in the UK.

In the South West not only do we have a proportion of elderly people living here, those who are some of the most vulnerable to coronavirus, but we also have NHS trusts that are stretched to capacity without any extra pressure.

We want to help saves lives and help bring an end to the outbreak as soon as we possibly can.

Therefore we are aiming to spread the message of come back later as far and as wide as possible through a campaign launching today – #comebacklater.

“An area that concerns me is the gathering of groups. Whilst we will continue to engage with people to understand, over the weekend my officers will enforce as a last resort.”

The force recently undertook a public survey seeking views on how Devon and Cornwall Police are working through the Covid-19 lockdown.

Over 91 percent of responses were supportive of the force’s current approach.

ACC Mayhew said: “The key to making this work within Cornwall, Devon and the Isles of Scilly is for everyone to continue to be fair and reasonable.

“Our approach, policing by consent with the public, partners and communities has been well received. This approach continues to not be taken lightly and we are fortunate that the vast majority of people not only in our counties but across the country are staying home and protecting lives.

“Thank you for all your support, and please ‘Think Twice’.”