Crime commissioner backs tougher stance on Covid-19 breaches

Norfolk police and crime commisssioner Lorne Green.

Norfolk police and crime commisssioner Lorne Green. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's police and crime commissioner has backed a tougher approach to dealing with breaches of coronavirus breaches.

Police chiefs in the county insisted officers would "be more robust" in cracking down on breaches last week as the country moved into another national lockdown.

Over the weekend a group of six men playing football together were among 31 people hit with fines for breaching Covid-19 regulations while 96 warnings were also issued.

Lorne Green, the county's police and crime commissioner, has supported stricter interpretation of the rules and insists it is being done proportionately.

He said: "We have policing by consent and I have every confidence there will be no issue between the community and the police.

"The overwhelming majority of people in this county are respectful of the law and of the guidance and its those few that choose to have a rave or have a poker game in the basement of their house who know they are doing it in defiance of the law that need to worry."

He added: "They are not out in a vigilante sense patrolling and looking for people doing things wrong.
“But where they come across that, where clearly people are in defiance of well known regulations the police are in force and I totally support them in that."

Among those fined this weekend were six men in the Great Yarmouth area who had met on a recreation ground to play football together, while another man was fined for having five friends in his car - all from separate households.

And despite officers fining a couple who travelled to Horsey Gap to see the seals last week, further people visited the same spot from outside the region over the weekend.

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The constabulary confirmed a couple who had travelled from Hertfordshire and a father from Colchester were also among those fined for the same reason. 

A police spokesman said the fines were predominantly issued in coastal parts of the county, to people either mixing households or who had travelled lengthy distances to exercise.

Temporary assistant chief constable Julie Wvendth said: "We did see an increase in enforcement activity this weekend, particularly in our coastal areas."

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