Now more than ever we must take personal responsibility to slow the spread of Covid-19

It’s clear to see that more and more people are venturing out of lockdown; roads are clearly busier than they were just a couple of weeks ago and more businesses are reopening.

This weekend we heard from readers concerned because neighbours were having what appeared to be parties and were clearly socialising with people who were not part of their immediate household.

“Now is certainly not the time to attend parties… or make a long journey for a day trip to the beach.” says Chief Superintendent Jane Derrick of Sussex Police.

Chief Superintendent Jane Derrick of Sussex Police says: “Now is certainly not the time to attend parties, travel to family and friends for birthday celebrations or make a long journey for a day trip to the beach.”

She says the vast majority of Sussex residents continue to observe the government’s restrictions and maintain social distancing to ensure the cases of coronavirus do not escalate.

Chief Superintendent Jane Derrick

“We are working hard to keep people safe and protect the most vulnerable to save lives. But we are not over this national health emergency yet and we ask the public to listen to government advice and only change behaviours as new guidance is provided,” she says.

This weekend fines were issued to those caught flouting the travel and social distancing restrictions.

“We know that it isn’t easy, especially when the sun is out but fine weather is no indicator of the restrictions lifting or indeed the spread of coronavirus slowing, there is still a way to go,” she says.

“Those, who explained they were bored and fancied a day at the beach, were issued fines at Birling Gap, Seven Sisters, Camber Sands and Brighton. They account for about half of the 45 fines issued in Sussex on Saturday.

“Also falling foul of the current restrictions that day were those who travelled to family or friends’ birthday parties; or joined friends in their cars for a day out,” she says.

Seven fines have gone to parents in the last week, after their children, aged between 15 and 17, were taken home after they had met up with their friends and refused to follow advice from Police officers.

Chief Supt Derrick added: “Perhaps now more than ever, we need people to take personal responsibility to help slow the spread of this deadly disease. They need to take social distancing seriously, stay local and avoid places that are popular such as coasts, beauty spots or popular countryside walks to minimise the number of people they may meet.

“Our policing approach during the lockdown has not changed. We are still in communities patrolling, we are still talking to the public and explaining the guidance and legislation, but we will take enforcement action when it is absolutely necessary to do so.

“We are working 24/7 preventing and solving crime and the online demand in our Contact Centre has escalated, driven by the public reporting breaches of the current measures.

“We can only save the unnecessary loss of lives by taking personal responsibility for our actions and supporting one another over the coming days, weeks and months.”

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