The people of Cheshire are being reminded to stay at home as the fight against coronavirus continues.
As the country moves into a fifth week of restrictions in a bid to save lives and protect the NHS, residents across the county are urged to do their bit as part of the national effort.
Superintendent Richard Rees said: “I want to thank every single person in Cheshire in helping to play their part in tackling the spread of coronavirus – listening to the advice they have been given, taking it on board and staying at home where they can.
“The steps you are taking during this global pandemic will help to save lives and protect the NHS.
“This is an unprecedented time and these are unprecedented measures and the strict social distancing measures are set to remain in place for at least the next three weeks.
“It is Important that we have the continued co-operation and goodwill of everyone. We do appreciate the difficulties and uncertainties that everyone is facing but I am confident that the people of Cheshire will pull together, support one another and show their true community spirit as we continue to adjust to our new way of life.”
As we head into another weekend, patrol plans remain in place across the county.
Officers – supported by members of the Special Constabulary – will be out and about engaging with people, explaining the reasons behind the regulations and encouraging them to take it on board to ensure that everyone is fully complying with these restrictions. Only as a last resort will enforcement action be taken.
Checks on roads are continuing to make sure that those travelling in Cheshire are doing so for one of the essential reasons.
Supt Rees added: “Officers will continue to be out and about stopping people and talking to them as they go about their journeys – on foot and by car. If you are stopped by one of our officers please do not be offended by this – it is for a good reason.
“Criminals are quick to change their habits depending on the circumstances and, even in a nationwide lockdown, they will still find a way to operate. Part of our checks are to ensure those out and about are not there for criminal gain.”
Officers will also continue with high-visibility patrols within the local community.
Supt Rees said: “It is really encouraging to see that the vast majority of local people are being supportive and staying at home where they can. However we do know that not everyone is following the advice as one of the key issues you are telling us about is people having house parties and large social gatherings, which are still taking place despite the restrictions.
“I want to remind everyone that the new measures mean this cannot happen and I am asking people to please abide by this.
“We are responding to any concerns from the local community and, in these cases, will speak to people and use the 3Es approach to try and resolve the situation.
“We police with the consent of the communities we serve and a positive relationship with those communities is more important than ever.
“It is important to remember that these new measures have been put in place for a very good reason and we all have a responsibility to make sure that we stick to them.”
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “I would like to thank the majority of Cheshire residents who are abiding by the guidance and staying at home to help relieve pressure on our NHS and save lives.
“Sadly, there still remains some individuals who think the advice does not apply to them and I would urge them to think about the impact their actions are having on the wider community.
“Emergency service workers across Cheshire are working flat out in extremely challenging circumstances while putting themselves and their families at risk. It is our duty to support them and not put them under unnecessary pressure.
“The more we cooperate and work together as a community by acting responsibly the faster we will be able to beat this crisis.”
The new public health regulations are in place to ensure people stay at home and avoid non-essential travel – unless for one of the following reasons:
Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
One form of exercise a day - for example, a run, walk or cycle - alone or with members of their household
Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
Travelling to and from work, but only where they cannot work from home
Participating in gatherings of more than two people in public spaces is also not permitted except in very limited circumstances, for example, where it is for essential work purposes.