Police urge people planning to attend protests to take extra care

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Cheshire Constabulary is urging anyone planning to attend a protest this weekend to take extra care to help keep themselves and others safe.

Coronavirus remains a deadly disease and the force is reminding people that restrictions remain in place to prevent its spread, which include not gathering outside in groups of more than six people.

Superintendent Richard Rees said: “We know people want to make their voices heard. The right to lawful protest is a key part of any democracy, which UK police uphold and facilitate.

“We have already had a number of protests in recent weeks, all of which have passed peacefully.

“Where there are plans for any future protests we will ensure proportionate and consistent policing plans are put in place, working with communities and those taking part wherever possible.

“The rights to protest are well established in this country; however personal responsibility is key. We would urge people to ensure they are fully aware of the regulations that remain in place before they attend and to take every precaution to keep themselves and others safe.

“We will continue to use common sense and discretion to determine what is reasonable, with officers engaging, explaining, encouraging and, only as a last resort, enforcing.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to remind people we cannot enforce social distancing and are relying on your good nature and remember to keep two metres apart.

“Keep in mind the purpose of the regulations and the national effort to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane: “I continue to give my full support to Cheshire residents who want to make their voices heard on this important issue.

“The protests we have seen in Cheshire so far have passed peacefully and I call for anyone planning to attend events over the weekend to take extra care.

“We have a duty to ourselves and each other to stay safe and to keep in mind social distancing guidelines in place to protect our NHS and save lives.

“I wish all the residents of Cheshire a safe weekend.”

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