Chief Constable Freeman said;
“You will have heard about the new powers that have been given to the police by the Government in what are, unprecedented times that we are all facing and I want to provide some clarity and reassurance about what this means and how the officers and staff of Humberside Police will continue to be supporting you in the coming weeks.
“The latest Government position is that you should stay at home.
“You should only go out for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
“If you do have to go out, you should stay two meters (6ft) away from other people
“I ask that you take these rules seriously.
“They are in place to save lives and to protect our NHS.
“This is not advice anymore, they are rules.
“There is a reason why the government has taken the decision to introduce such restrictions and we currently have a window of opportunity to ensure that our actions do not further spread the virus and to ensure that our own family, friends, neighbours and communities stay safe.
“The policing style that we will be using has not changed.
“We police by and with the consent of the communities who we work with.
“Where our staff see members of the public not complying with these rules, we will engage with them, we will explain what is required and we will seek co-operation. Only working together can we protect one another.
“However, if there are incidents where this does not work, enforcement, whilst being the last option, will be used.
“Our aim is not to criminalise anyone and I believe everyone understands the risks and how our behaviours can help reduce the spread of the virus.
“Over the last 24-48 hours, I have started to see a change in how people are behaving and understanding the gravity of the situation. However, there have been reports of people travelling to coastal areas and market towns in numbers and this must cease. Now is not the time to be travelling for days out at the beach and if this continues, we have a duty and responsibility to take action.
“We will also be working with our colleagues in trading standards and local authorities to ensure that all non-essential shops are closing as required and there are no emerging issues with the use of public spaces such as parks and churches – which are also closed.
“Please remember that these rules are here to save lives and protect the NHS’s ability to treat people with COVID 19 and also other acute conditions. It is critical that we ensure that this happens.
“I would like to thank everyone across Hull, East Riding & Northern Lincolnshire for doing the right thing. I know that many people are worried and that this is a very uncertain time.
“I also know that some people may be confused still about what is allowed and what is not. My officers and staff understand this and will be using common sense and are there to help.
“I wish to record my personal thanks to all emergency service staff and those in the NHS. My staff and officers are at work, delivering day to day policing and being there to protect you during what is a worrying time for everyone. Thank you for your amazing support so far.
“We will continue to be there for you when you need us because that is our duty.
“So please help us to help you by following the rules.
“If you have any concerns in relation to people not following the rules relating to social isolation, please do not call us on 1010 or 999. Visit our website and use the reporting tool there and we will ensure our patrols are adjusted.
“I wish you and your loved ones well. Please stay safe and thank you for your support and cooperation.
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