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Chief constable praises public for ‘stay at home’ Easter

PUBLISHED: 21:28 12 April 2020 | UPDATED: 21:32 12 April 2020

Police patrol at Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich on Easter weekend. Picture: Brittany Woodman

Police patrol at Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich on Easter weekend. Picture: Brittany Woodman

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Norfolk’s chief constable has praised people for staying at home after fewer calls about people flouting coronavirus restrictions so far during the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Simon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk Constabulary. Picture: SubmittedSimon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk Constabulary. Picture: Submitted

Simon Bailey said despite the sunny weather coastal resorts and beauty spots had been quieter than previous weekends with officers having to take less action.

Last weekend across Norfolk issued 109 warnings to people not sticking to lockdown guidance, including a birthday party, while 16 court summons’ were also issued.

MORE: Norwich Cathedral closed and parks empty on very different Easter Sunday

Mr Bailey said: “We specifically deployed beat managers and members of the special constabulary to the areas where we could potentially expect to see people congregate, so beauty spots and along the coast.

“They have been much quieter and the vast majority of people have adhered to the guidance and when we have engaged with people most have understood and respected the education that we have given them.

The deserted beach at Great Yarmouth during the Easter weekend. Picture: Reece HansonThe deserted beach at Great Yarmouth during the Easter weekend. Picture: Reece Hanson

“From my perspective it is really reassuring that the message has landed and that people are respecting the rationale of the guidance of saving lives and protecting the NHS. I’m really pleased.”

Among the police action was a man arrested in King’s Lynn after assaulting two officers, where he intentionally coughed into their faces, later stating he was “joking”.

Closed amusements at Hunstanton beach during lockdown on Easter bank holiday weekend. Picture: Emily ThomsonClosed amusements at Hunstanton beach during lockdown on Easter bank holiday weekend. Picture: Emily Thomson

MORE: ‘Joker’ arrested for coughing in police officers’ faces

Mr Bailey said: “I don’t want to tempt fate but so far this weekend we have not seen any major incidents.

“We had a nasty incident on Saturday where someone coughed in the face of two officers, which is disgusting, but other than that it has been a good weekend.

“I think as the number of people contracting the virus grows and the number of people who have sadly lost their lives continues to grow, this is now becoming something that people recognise just how serious and indiscriminate this is.”

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