Covid-19: Hundreds of rule breaches in Devon and Cornwall

Background to earlier story on Police clarification of Covid rules

A deputy chief constable has said “people are beginning to flout” lockdown rules, following hundreds of coronavirus breaches over the weekend.

“People are beginning to get fed up with it and I can understand that, but we have to be firm,” said Devon and Cornwall Police’s Paul Netherton.

A control room supervisor tweeted that he had dealt with more than 250 coronavirus rule breaches on Saturday.

Government guidance says unless it is necessary you must not leave your home.

“People know what the rules are by now” but “they’re beginning to think how can I get away with the rules rather than abide by them,” said Mr Netherton.

He said police officers do not want to be seen as “draconian”, but they are going out to tell people that by mixing, the disease is continuing to spread.

“So in Devon and Cornwall, we are stopping people” and “having to make a really difficult judgement about what is reasonable and what is not”.

“But the key message remains, stay at home.”

Just an hour into his shift, control room supervisor with Devon and Cornwall Police Glenn Shuttleworth said there had been “41 Covid breaches” attended by police..

Unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so, you are not able to leave your home for holidays or overnight stays – this includes staying in second homes or caravans, if they are not your primary residence, according to government guidance.

People are only allowed to leave their homes for exercise, once per day and are advised to not travel outside their local area.

On Friday, Devon and Cornwall’s chief constable Shaun Sawyer said: “We can’t enforce” lockdown rules without help from the public.