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Coronavirus: How can police enforce lockdown rules?

Police across the country are faced with the seemingly impossible task of making sure people stick to lockdown restrictions and prevent the spread of Covid-19. Yet more and more people are choosing to flout the rules despite the dramatic increase in the rate of infection. With lockdown rules seemingly able to get even tighter, just how do police deal with rulebreakers? And what power do they have? [caption id="attachment_3674" align="aligncenter" width="1141"] Police are able to enforce lockdown rules and hand out fines if necessary.[/caption] "The Four Es" Police are instructed to follow 'The Four Es' when it comes to enforcing lockdown rules: Engage - Speak to people and ask why they appear to be breaking the rules. Explain - Explain the law, stressing the risks they are imposing on public health and the NHS. Encourage - Encourage them to change their behaviour Enforce - Enforce the rules by issuing penalties and fines, which is seen as a last resort. What are the fines? People caught breaking lockdown rules could be slapped with a fixed penalty notice, 32,000 of which have been issued in England and Wales since March 2020. In England, fines start at £200 and will continue to double for each repeat offence, up to £6,400. Police can also issue fines of up to £10,000 for large gatherings, with extreme cases going to court and an even greater fine imposed. What can I be fined for? Police can issue fines to anyone breaking lockdown rules by leaving their homes for any non-essential journeys, unless they have a 'reasonable excuse'. You're still able to go to the shops for essential items, to work if you cannot work from home, and for education, training or childcare. Exercise with one other person is also permitted in a public place however people must 'stay local' - meaning stay in your village, town or part of the city where you live. What else can police enforce? Police also have the power to make you wear a face covering, which are essential in shops and on public transport. Those caught without a face covering will be encouraged to put one on or will face a fixed penalty notice. Police can also check whether people are abiding by rules around the 10-day quarantine that is necessary after travelling abroad. They are able to use the Test-and-Trace app to investigate anyone they believe to be breaking the rules. Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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