Warning over easing of latest lockdown measures

A police chief is urging people not to get complacent after their good work so far helping stop the spread of coronavirus.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 12:09 pm
Updated Monday, 29th March 2021, 12:14 pm
Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchison.

On Monday, the rules preventing small gatherings of people outdoors were relaxed with the return of the rule of six, meaning up to six people or two households can gather outside or in private gardens.

But Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchison, of Northumbria Police, has called on the public not to show complacency, and reminded them that rules still remain in place.

He said: “I want to take a moment to firstly thank the public for their efforts so far.

"It has been a difficult year and the support we have had is incredible.

“The vast majority have complied with the restrictions and will be looking forward to being able to socialise with family and friends.

“However, with restrictions set to ease around outdoor gatherings and Easter right around the corner, now is not the time for complacency.

“We would urge everyone to remain responsible and remember this slight easing of the rules, though exciting, is not a full return to normal life.

“We all must continue to follow the rules and do everything we can to keep ourselves and others safe.”

Officers have been busy preparing for the restrictions to ease and anticipate that beauty spots around the Force area will be popular areas for family and friends to meet up.

Extra patrols will be taking place in parks, the rural countryside and all along a coastline stretching from North Northumberland to the border of Durham to ensure that outside meetings are conducted in accordance with those regulations that are still in force to prevent spread of Coronavirus.

Northumbria Police’s pop-up police station will be visiting key areas and neighbourhood teams will also be supporting Operation Coastwatch in North Tyneside.

Officers will also be working with staff from Nexus around the Metro network and local authorities.

ACC Hutchison said: “Many of the initiatives we have in place to tackle anti-social behaviour focus on holiday periods and when we begin to see warmer weather.

“But with Covid-19 restrictions in place and many popular places to visit closed, our beaches have already been busier than usual and we thought it was important to launch our initiatives early.

“Operation Coastwatch, which was launched at the start of March, will continue all through summer.

“We want people to be able to take advantage of the opportunity to meet with friends and family outdoors. Everyone should be able to feel confident that they can do so safely, so we will continue to patrol these areas to ensure that is the case.”

If you want to report anti-social behaviour then you can do this online at the ‘Tell Us Something’ pages of the Northumbria Police website.