The people of Cheshire are being urged to keep playing their part in tackling the coronavirus crisis.
As the easing of restrictions start today (Wednesday 13 May) those living and working in the county are being urged to be aware of the new guidelines and continue to stay at home where they can.
Chief Constable Darren Martland said: “The community spirit shown by residents across Cheshire during the lockdown has been remarkable and I want to thank every single person who has played their part in helping to keep the nation safe.
“It has been really encouraging to see that the vast majority of residents have been sticking to the guidelines and, from today, we really need to ensure that this continues.
“Many are now able to spend more time outdoors and it is really important that people take personal responsibility, know what the remaining regulations are and think very carefully about where they are going and how they will be able to keep their distance from others in order to keep everyone safe.”
Neighbourhood policing has remained the backbone of policing in Cheshire during the past few months and officers, PCSOs and members of the Special Constabulary have been providing a visible presence in the local community.
This will continue along with patrols in and around key locations including schools and business premises – both open and closed – to provide vital reassurance.
Chief Constable Martland added: “In England, the police role has changed as public health regulations have changed. We police by consent and our overall aim is to continue to encourage and support our local communities to comply fully with the remaining restrictions that are in place.
“Our officers will continue to engage with the public, talking from a safe distance, explain the remaining measures and what they mean and encourage people to do the right thing and abide by them of their own accord.
“We will use common sense and discretion to determine what is reasonable. Officers do not want to have to use enforcement powers but it is right that they are still able to take action against those who disregard the rules and, in doing so, are potentially putting people at risk.
“It is important to remember that officers across Cheshire are working hard to keep everyone safe in what remain challenging circumstances and we all need to work together to get through this.
“I want to reassure all residents that we are here to serve and protect and maintain the best service to the public and we will continue to work as hard as we can, alongside our partners, to keep you safe, protect our officers and staff, and support the nationwide response.”
David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: “It is still very much necessary to keep to many of the lockdown measures in place in order to stop the spread of the virus, protect our NHS and save lives.
“I’ve been extremely impressed with how, so far, the vast majority of Cheshire residents have followed the guidance and I would like to thank them for their care.
“This has enabled minimal levels of enforcement action with Cheshire Constabulary adopting the approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging the public to abide by the measures before considering the use of the new enforcement powers.
“In my role as Police and Crime Commissioner, I will continue to monitor the policing of the new measures via weekly meetings with the Chief Constable. If local residents have any questions, I’d be grateful to receive these for my weekly reassurance meetings with the Chief Constable where questions will be considered and individual answers provided to residents.”
Residents are reminded that there are different regulations in place in Scotland and Wales to those in England and people living in Cheshire, which borders North Wales, need to familiarise themselves with what is allowed in each part of the country.
With an increase in traffic expected on the county’s roads as some restrictions are lifted, drivers are also being reminded of the need to stay safe on the road – ensure your vehicle is roadworthy, drive carefully and be mindful of the rules and regulations in place.
If you need information and advice on the remaining regulations in place regarding coronavirus please visit the Government’s website.
The virtual Q&A sessions with the PCC will take place every Tuesday and Cheshire residents and businesses are invited to send their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title ‘Reassurance Q&A’ by midnight on Sunday to be answered the following week.
Alternatively, questions can also be taken by phone during regular office hours by calling 01606 364000.
If you need the help of Cheshire Constabulary there are a number of ways that you can contact the force.
In an emergency, where there is a threat to life or a crime is taking place, please call 999.
If it isn’t an emergency it is possible to report incidents via our website, which people are encouraged to use when possible, or call 101.