Out on the beat - we join police Covid patrol on the seafront

police

PC Marley-Jay Symonds (right) with Sgt Sam Scott patrolling Gorleston beach. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

"Stay home, save lives" -  the message is simple from police at Gorleston beach.



Great Yarmouth officers have been patrolling the seafront after numerous reports of lockdown breaches.

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Local resident Michael discussed with police that Gorleston beach gets busy with people when the sun comes out. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

We joined Sgt Sam Scott and PC Marley-Jay Symonds out on the beat on Saturday on a relatively empty Gorleston sea front.

Sgt Scott said: "We are increasing patrols so that people are sticking to lockdown rules.

"We respond to every crime based upon threat, harm and risk. So if one certain crime is more serious than a Covid breach, we will always respond to that first."

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PC Marley-Jay Symonds on patrol at Gorleston beach. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

PC Marley-Jay Symonds said there was no reason for people in Great Yarmouth and the rest of Norfolk to be flouting the rules.

He said: "Our message is Stay Home. Save Lives. 

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"The rules and guidance are clear now and they have been out for two to three weeks and this is to stay at home and only leave for essential exercise and shopping."

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Gorleston beach was largely empty today. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa


One local resident, Michael, described how crowds are particularly bad on the beach when the sun is out.

There have been examples across Norfolk of people flagrantly breaching lockdown rules.

According to police in Hampshire, a Norfolk woman has been fined after travelling around 200 miles to visit her daughter on the south coast.

And recently, a man made a 128-mile round trip for fish and chips.

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Sergeant Sam Scott of Great Yarmouth Police out on patrol at Gorleston beach. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Sgt Scott clearly explained the rules: "If someone is travelling here from Norwich that is clearly unreasonable. If someone lives in Gorleston and drives two minutes here that is reasonable."

PC Symonds added: "Anyone driving more than five or 10 minutes for exercise is not reasonable."

Sgt Scott explained the mood is mixed in Gorleston and Great Yarmouth when members of the public are stopped.

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Both Sgt Scott and PC Symonds confirmed there is always a mixed reaction when they stop people. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

"It's a mixed reaction when we engage with members of the public.

"Our method is always engage, explain and enforce and then if members of the public are still resisting that is when we take action."

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The main message from police is that they are taking a firmer stance. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Sgt Scott emphasised the fact that whilst not many tough fines have been given out in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk Police are taking a firmer stance.

"The sooner everyone obeys this, we get it under control and the NHS is not at a tipping point the sooner we can all start to see our family and friends again."


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