Statement from Suffolk Constabulary as new regulations come into force
As we approach the first weekend with the new regulations and expectations in place, including the ‘rule of six’, Suffolk Constabulary has outlined its expected policing activity.
Suffolk Constabulary’s Detective Chief Supt David Cutler, who has been leading the local police response to the coronavirus, said: “As a police force, we fully appreciate how difficult the past six months have been for the county and I am very grateful to the overwhelming majority of people who have played and continue to play their part and ‘stuck with It’, following the guidance and legislation that has helped to protect Suffolk and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“However, we clearly see that the infection rate is now rising rapidly across the country and while in Suffolk it is not increasing as significantly as other areas, this is not the time to be complacent and we must all carry on working together, each and every one of us, to keep our county safe. Our focus will remain on our use of the 4Es – engaging, explaining, encouraging and then enforcing when required. We will continue working closely with all of our partners as we have done throughout the pandemic, the positive working relationships across Suffolk are so important in responding to the threat of the virus.
“Part of these new restrictions will mean that from Thursday 24 September 2020 all hospitality, leisure, entertainment and tourism businesses will have to close by 10pm. This includes takeaways, though they will be able to deliver between the hours of 10pm and 5am. Our officers and dedicated licensing teams engage and work with licensed premises holders and ensure they are aware of the legislation and comply. Local authority, environmental health, and trading standards officers will also be supporting businesses to ensure they adhere to the rules. If advice is ignored, fines can be imposed and prohibition notices issued for breaches, if necessary. We know that this is a particularly challenging time for the hospitality industry, but adhering to the rules is so important and if we do this now then the slower the virus will spread and the sooner we will be able to get back to a sense of ‘normal’.
“This will only work if the public and businesses work with us on this and together we take the right actions at the right time. Our approach will be the same as it has been: engaging with people first, explaining the guidance and law and encouraging people to do the right thing. However, we will not sit back and allow people to deliberately break the law. Where we are left with no choice but to enforce, we will do so in order to protect our communities.
“If members of the public are concerned that the law is being broken or they are experiencing anti-social behaviour, they can report this to us and we will respond in the most appropriate way, targeting repeat and high risk behaviour. We all have a personal responsibility to reduce the spread of coronavirus, and to ensure that police enforcement is used only as a last resort. Reports should be made through our online reporting wherever possible.”