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