People who continue to flout coronavirus restrictions should be prepared to face the consequences of their actions, police chiefs have said.
In an open letter, signed by the chief constables of the five forces across the North West, including Cumbria’s Michelle Skeer, they said: “We will collectively target those who flout the restrictions, particularly those organising large gatherings and music events, repeatedly holding parties or deliberately causing harm to our communities by not following the restrictions, such as self-isolating where necessary.”
The letter says as police chiefs, they have seen first-hand the misery the COVID-19 pandemic has caused and the majority of people had followed the law and guidelines introduced to prevent the spread of the virus.
The letter added: “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.
“Sadly we have seen a minority right across the North West who seem incapable of demonstrating any civic responsibility and complying with the regulations.
“To the majority of our communities who have tried so hard to comply with restrictions, please carry on.
“We know how hard this is, but we need to maintain that shared purpose we had in the first lockdown to defeat the virus and, ultimately, save lives.
“To the minority who feel the restrictions don’t apply to them be prepared to face the consequences of greater levels of enforcement.”
Officers have issued fixed penalty notices to people flouting the law.
The letter added: “Where we have issued fixed penalty notices a significant proportion of recipients think they can ignore them.
“We are therefore seeking support from Government and the judiciary to consider how we bring these people to justice rapidly.
“Let us all do everything we can to get through this most awful of times and prevent any further suffering across the North West.”