Breaching rules designed to protect us from the spread of Covid-19 is not just disappointing it’s also ‘selfish’ according to Sussex’ Chief Constable Jo Shiner.
Speaking as the new lockdown rules come into force this morning Ms Shiner said police enforcement activity would be stepped up to address the behaviour of people knowingly breaking the rules to help protect the NHS and save lives.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone…”Jo Shiner, Chief Constable of Sussex Police.
At the weekend Sussex Police issued its first £10,000 fine to the organiser of a house party involving more than 100 people. Police were called to a number of disorder incidents across the county over the weekend, with officers on the receiving end of both verbal and physical abuse the Chief Constable explained.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone and we are all being affected by the current situation in one way or another.
“Throughout the entire pandemic, Sussex Police has been overwhelmed by the positive response to the Covid-19 regulations from the vast majority of Sussex residents and visitors who are trying their best to adapt to the changing situation. We will continue to take a proportionate approach, to understand people’s circumstances, and engage, explain and encourage compliance ahead of any enforcement,” says Ms Shiner.
But she says she has been ‘saddened’ by a minority of people who she says are acting irresponsibly by ‘testing the boundaries’ and, in some cases, ‘flouting regulations’ with what she describes as a ‘complete disregard’ for the impact of this disease on others.
“I want to make it clear… this behaviour will not be tolerated and those who choose to knowingly break the rules will be fined. We will be turning up the dial on enforcement where people are blatantly disregarding regulations which risk the acceleration of the spread of Covid in Sussex. This will include additional patrols in hot spot areas where fines will be issued to those who do not comply.
“A number of my front line colleagues over the weekend suffered injuries and were subjected to both verbal and physical abuse… the behaviour some of them had to experience at the weekend was simply appalling. I continue to be very clear that any assaults on those front line workers doing their very best to protect the law abiding public will be dealt with firmly,” says the Chief Constable.