Police leaders urge residents to continue following pandemic guidelines
Residents are being reminded not to undo the good work so far as restrictions are eased.
The latest phase of coming out of lockdown on Monday saw families able to meet up and indoor venues being able to welcome people back inside.
Now, chiefs at Northumbria Police are urging people to continue following the rules and be respectful of one another.
Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchison said: “The fact we have reached this point, is in no small part down to the resilience you all continue to show in following the rules and guidance in place to help protect our communities from the spread of Covid-19.
"Combined with the monumental efforts of our colleagues in the NHS to ensure the ongoing successful roll-out of the vaccination programme, we are seeing far lower infection rates, and ultimately lives are being saved.
“We recognise policing also continues to have an important role to play, as the restrictions on our daily life lift and we all recover from the impact of the pandemic.
“With more businesses opening their doors, we also look forward to welcoming even more people into our wonderful towns and cities – and we will, of course, be there should you need us.
“We would ask that you too take steps to help ensure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy these latest changes and look out for the safety of yourself and others.
“It is also important we all remember that some restrictions do remain – and now is not the time to push boundaries and disregard those measures which are in place to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.
“We absolutely want people to be able to enjoy the new-found freedoms but please let us not jeopardise the substantial efforts which have already been made to get us to this point.
“We owe it to ourselves and each other to ensure we remain on course for the further lifting of restrictions in June.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness added: “My focus is clear.
"Our region needs to ensure that the easing of restrictions does not lead to a rise in crime.
"Work supporting our communities and the most vulnerable has never been so important.
“While it’s great to see life open back up, it’s important we keep doing the things that help us stay safe – washing hands, keeping your distance, especially in light of the new variant of the virus that has reached the UK.
“Things may be improving but there are still rules in place and our police are there to police them – doing their job to help keep people safe.
"And remember, the easing of restrictions may be a little unnerving for some, and so we need to be mindful and respectful of this.
“So, enjoy taking steps closer to normality, but do so with care so we don’t undo all the progress we have made.
"Let’s focus on the future and let’s help the North East come out of these difficult times stronger than before.”