Gloucestershire police fined group for ignoring coronavirus lockdown rules

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Gloucestershire Constabulary imposed its first fine on those who ignore the rules of social distancing.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given police the power to impose fines on those who ignore advice during the coronavirus pandemic.

People are only allowed out if they buy essential items, medicine, help a vulnerable person, participate in essential work and some form of exercise.

The Gloucestershire Constabulary Specialized Operations team has stopped more than 120 vehicles on the county’s main routes in the past 24 hours to verify the reasons for the trip.

A spokesman for the force said, “The vast majority of people have good reason, some have understood that they have not changed their plans and three people have not understood at all.

“The group, made up of two men and a woman, were traveling in a car on the M5 from Manchester to Bristol because they wanted to pick up a car they were buying.

“They said it was because there were only two such cars for sale in the country and did not listen to our officer when he explained that it was a trip not essential.

“As a result, the group was fined £ 60 and information has been shared with other forces so that more drastic action can be taken if they continue to travel unnecessarily. “

Inspector Dan Wakeford said, “Our approach has been for officers to interact with motorists to establish why they are traveling, explain the risks to public health, encourage people to ask themselves if they need to travel, then consider law enforcement when people refused to take the advice on board.

“Our teams were polite but curious, alert and sensitive to the other potential reasons why people can travel.

“If so, we asked for letters explaining that the person is a key worker and people were happy that we did.

“The only example of non-compliance should not obscure the fact that it was one of the quietest days on M5 in history and that most people get it.

“However, this is our first law enforcement action and should demonstrate that we will use our powers when necessary.

“Please continue to act responsibly, as my officers will be on the main roads again today and in the week to come.

“And with next weekend being Easter weekend, remember that you shouldn’t be traveling anywhere to go on vacation. “



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