"We must work together - we will take enforcement action when required"
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“We all have a responsibility to work together – when people aren’t, enforcement action will be taken”.
This is Leicestershire Police’s message ahead of the weekend as individuals and public premises continue to be encouraged to adhere to Covid-19 Health Protection Regulations.
While the vast majority of people are following latest guidelines, reports have continued in relation to potential breaches of the regulations.
And while the force is continuing its work to engage, explain and encourage in relation to the guidelines, enforcement action will be taken when guidelines are not being followed and advice is not being taken.
Over last weekend (from Friday to Sunday) 14 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were issued.
On Friday, the Gate Hangs Well pub in Syston was issued with a FPN for the offence of organising or facilitating an organised gathering under the Health Protection Regulations. This was after around 300 motorcyclists were found to have gathered at the premises.
On Saturday, two FPNs were issued following a report of a house party in Colton Street, Leicester, where more than 40 people were found to be in attendance. Advice and guidance had previously been issued at the property in relation to breaching regulations.
The value of the fine is dependent on a number of factors including when the fine is paid and the number of offences committed - but can be up to £10,000.
Officers have also been working with local authorities raising concerns in relation to premises which are found to be breaching regulations. Today (Friday), it was announced The Bounty in Hinckley has been issued with a closure order by Leicestershire County Council in consultation with Leicestershire Police.
This is after the pub failed to ensure it followed the order for all hospitality venues in England to close by 10pm. There were also concerns about non-compliance with social distancing in how the venue managed a reduced number of people on the premises.
Current regulations state that people should adhere to the ‘rule of six’. Apart from a set of limited exemptions including work and education, any social gatherings of more than six people is against the law.
Businesses selling food and drink are currently under order to close at 10pm. This includes pubs as well as takeaways businesses. Deliveries can continue after 10pm.
The regulations also give police the power to arrest when someone refuses to provide their name and address when being issued with a FPN.
Superintendent Adam Slonecki said: “We will take enforcement action where and when it is required. Where we are receiving reports of breaches and where we find guidelines are not being followed or advice is not being taken, we will act on this.
“More than six months on since Government guidelines were first brought in, everyone continues to be affected from individuals to communities and businesses.
“However, the fact remains that we must continue to work together to adhere to the regulations in order to protect ourselves, our friends and families and others in our communities. As we have previously said, this is about protecting lives and livelihoods.
“The majority of people and businesses are working with us in this way and for that we continue to be extremely grateful.
“Ahead of this weekend, and going forward, we ask that everyone plays their part to ensure our enforcement action is not necessary and that people can continue to enjoy themselves in line with the guidelines which are in place.”
For more information on the current guidelines, visit www.gov.uk