Covid-19: Advice for the public following changes to Government legislation

Police horses

Changes to Government restrictions in relation to Coronavirus came into effect yesterday and members of the public are now able to spend more time outdoors, and more people will be returning to work.

Members of the public will be able to visit their local parks and open spaces and will also be able to spend time with one member of another household, provided it is on a one-to-one basis and as long as they adhere to strict social distancing guidelines at all times and stay two metres apart People can familiarise themselves with the list of changes on the following website:

The advice remains that everybody should continue to avoid public transport other than for essential journeys Therefore, people should only make these journeys by cycling, walking or driving in a private vehicle People also should check in advance of visiting places like National Parks and beaches to make sure they are prepared for visitors

Despite a lessening of the restrictions in place the Government has stressed that individuals still can't:

  • Go on holiday in the UK
  • Visit and stay overnight at a holiday home or second home in the Uk
  • Visit the homes of friends and family, unless it’s to help a vulnerable person, for medical reasons, or to take a child to another household with whom parental responsibilities are shared

More stringent enforcement measures for non-compliance with the new rules have also come into effect

Fines have been increased, and will now start at £100, which will be lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days This will double on each further repeat offence up to £3,200

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Carden said: "Throughout the last six weeks the force has taken a common sense approach to policing the legislative powers given to the police. We will continue to work with people  and only use the powers as a last resort and when people are putting others at risk

"Our officers will continue to be out in local communities engaging with the public; checking that people aren’t flouting the restrictions still in place and reminding people why those restrictions are in place and encouraging them to do the right thing and adhere to the regulations, which have been put in place to protect all of us

"The majority of people on Merseyside have understood why the restrictions were introduced in the first place and have abided by them to protect their loved ones and I would urge them to carry on.

"Data obtained by the Merseyside Resilience Forum’s (MRF) Strategic Co-Ordinating Group (SCG) Health Intelligence cell, shows that the Merseyside region has a significantly higher death rate than England and the rest of the North West  And whilst infections and deaths are reducing, it appears that we are not coming down the other side of the epidemic curve as fast as other areas and regions.

"As a result we will continue to work together with the five local authorities across Merseyside, our partners in public health, and other emergency services, to urge people to continue to follow the stay at home where possible and maintain social distance to do our bit to reduce the spread of Covid-19 together."

He added: "In the last couple of weeks we have had a number of complaints from members of the public about people speeding on the roads, and with the likelihood of increasing traffic we will be proactively policing our road networks to ensure people are keeping to the speed limit; not driving under the influence of drink or drugs, not using their mobile phone whilst driving and wearing their seatbelts.

"Despite the additional policing challenges we have faced we have continued to provide an effective, professional service to the communities of Merseyside.

"Crime across the board has come down by 20 per cent since lockdown began on 24 March. Demand too has decreased by 12 per cent, whilst performance has increased by 10 percentage points up to 83 per cent In total there have been 12,818 priority graded incidents during the lockdown, which is 17 per cent less than last year and priority response performance has increased by 12 per cent up from 45 per cent to 57 per cent, which shows the quality of service we have been able to deliver to members of community during this period.

"The decreases in crime and reported incidents have given us the opportunity to be more proactive in our policing In the last six weeks we have seen our overall solved outcome rates (detections) increase by 27 per cent compared to the same period last year. Offence types with particularly higher solved rates include burglary, robbery, sexual offences and violence.

"We have also arrested 47 people who were wanted for various offences since the start of the lockdown and our Cannabis Dismantling Team has broken down 31 cannabis farms and seized more than 5000 cannabis plants, a 38 per cent increase in the number of cannabis plants seized during the lockdown period compared to the same period last year.

"Going forward we will continue to maintain our proactivity - targeting criminals to protect our communities."