Police vow to crack down on 'minority' putting 'lives at risk'

Northern police chiefs vow to crack down on ‘minority putting lives at risk’ by flouting anti-Covid rules as nation goes into new lockdown

  • Areas include Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside
  • Chiefs warn of ‘robust’ approach for those caught flouting the lockdown rules
  • Merseyside and Greater Manchester have seen their coronavirus figures rocket 
  • Those holding large parties and music events are in the firing line, chiefs say

Five Northern police chiefs have promised to crack down on the ‘minority’ who flout Covid rules and put ‘lives at risk’, on the eve of the second nationwide lockdown.

chief constables Darren Martland of Cheshire, Michelle Skeer of Cumbria, Ian Hopkins pf Greater Manchester, Andy Rhodes of Lancashire and Andy Cooke of Merseyside said they will take a ‘robust’ approach as a ‘minority seem incapable of following the rules’.

The areas they cover have been hit the harshest by the Covid pandemic.

Having seen first-hand the ‘misery of the pandemic’ , the senior officers said in an open letter that they will move more quickly to fine those who are caught flouting the new rules.

And they warned organisers of parties and music events in particular that they would be targeted. 


Police chiefs including Darren Maitland of Cheshire (left) and Michelle Skeer of Cumbria (reight) say they have seen first-hand the ‘misery of the pandemic’ and  won’t hesitate to issue fixed penalty notices for those caught flouting the new rules

Merseyside and Greater Manchester have seen their coronavirus figures rocket over the past month.

There have been 226,023 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the North West of England since the start of the pandemic.

It has seen the highest number of Covid cases in the nation, reaching 416.1 per 100,000 people, in the last week.

While the police chiefs commended those who have followed the rules, they said they will target those who put ‘lives at risk’ by hosting parties.

They wrote: ‘As the Police Chiefs responsible for the North West we have seen first-hand the misery the pandemic has caused, but we have also seen great support from the majority of our communities.

‘We have tried to ensure we have maintained the principle of policing with consent, that sets apart policing in this country from other parts of the world.

‘Along with police forces nationally, we have taken a very measured approach to enforcement from the start of the pandemic, recognising the restrictions placed on all our lives were unprecedented.


While the police bosses including Ian Hopkins of Greater Manchester (left) and Andy Cooke of Merseyside (Right) commended those who have followed the rules, they said they will target those who put ‘lives at risk’ by hosting parties

‘We used the 4E’s model of Engage, Explain, Encourage and only as a last resort Enforce, in relation to issuing Fixed Penalty Notices for breaching the Coronavirus legislation.

‘Sadly we have seen a minority right across the North West who seem incapable of demonstrating any civic responsibility and complying with the regulations.

‘We know from focus groups and regional insight work the majority of the public would wish to see the Police Service taking a consistent and robust approach to enforcement.

The open letter (pictured) has been penned by open by police chiefs from Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside, – areas which have been hit the harshest by Covid

‘Since local restrictions have been necessary across large parts of the North West we have taken a firmer stance on enforcing the restrictions, moving more quickly to issuing Fixed Penalty Notices for those deliberately flouting the law and putting lives at risk.

‘As we head into further significant restrictions from 00.01 on Thursday 5 November 2020 we wanted to give these collective messages.

‘To the majority of our communities who have tried so hard to comply with restrictions, please carry on.

Covid figures have sky rocketed in the North West of Enghand including the area covered by Andy Rhodes, (pictured) Chief Constable Lancashire Constabulary

‘We know how hard this is, but we need to maintain that shared purpose we had in the first lockdown to defeat the virus and, ultimately, save lives.

‘To the minority who feel the restrictions don’t apply to them be prepared to face the consequences of greater levels of enforcement.

‘We will collectively target those who flout the restrictions, particularly those organising large gatherings and music events, repeatedly holding parties or deliberately causing harm to our communities by not following the restrictions, such as self-isolating where necessary.

‘Where we have issued Fixed Penalty notices a significant proportion of recipients think they can ignore them.

‘We are therefore seeking support from Government and the Judiciary to consider how we bring these people to justice rapidly.

‘Let us all do everything we can to get through this most awful of times and prevent any further suffering across the North West.’

The chiefs’ warning: Open letter promising to crackdown on those flouting Covid rules

As the Police Chiefs responsible for the North West we have seen first-hand the misery the pandemic has caused, but we have also seen great support from the majority of our communities. 

We have tried to ensure we have maintained the principle of policing with consent, that sets apart policing in this country from other parts of the world. 

Along with police forces nationally, we have taken a very measured approach to enforcement from the start of the pandemic, recognising the restrictions placed on all our lives were unprecedented. 

We used the 4E’s model of Engage, Explain, Encourage and only as a last resort Enforce, in relation to issuing Fixed Penalty Notices for breaching the Coronavirus legislation. 

Sadly we have seen a minority right across the North West who seem incapable of demonstrating any civic responsibility and complying with the regulations. 

We know from focus groups and regional insight work the majority of the public would wish to see the Police Service taking a consistent and robust approach to enforcement. 

Since local restrictions have been necessary across large parts of the North West we have taken a firmer stance on enforcing the restrictions, moving more quickly to issuing Fixed Penalty Notices for those deliberately flouting the law and putting lives at risk. 

As we head into further significant restrictions from 00.01 on Thursday 5 November 2020 we wanted to give these collective messages: 

To the majority of our communities who have tried so hard to comply with restrictions, please carry on. 

We know how hard this is, but we need to maintain that shared purpose we had in the first lockdown to defeat the virus and, ultimately, save lives. 

To the minority who feel the restrictions don’t apply to them be prepared to face the consequences of greater levels of enforcement. 

We will collectively target those who flout the restrictions, particularly those organising large gatherings and music events, repeatedly holding parties or deliberately causing harm to our communities by not following the restrictions, such as self-isolating where necessary. 

Where we have issued Fixed Penalty notices a significant proportion of recipients think they can ignore them. 

We are therefore seeking support from Government and the Judiciary to consider how we bring these people to justice rapidly. 

Let us all do everything we can to get through this most awful of times and prevent any further suffering across the North West. 

Yours sincerely, Darren Martland ,Chief Constable Cheshire Constabulary; Michelle Skeer, Chief Constable, Cumbria Constabulary; Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable Greater Manchester Police; Andy Rhodes, Chief Constable Lancashire Constabulary; Andy Cooke Chief Constable Merseyside Police 

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