Residents urged to stay at home to protect NHS and save lives after more than 300 fines issued in January

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As we approach the end of January, Cheshire Constabulary is urging the public to continue their good work by staying at home to help protect the NHS and save lives.

The vast majority of Cheshire residents are playing their part in the national effort by sticking to the lockdown rules and only going out if it is absolutely essential.

However, there are still a small number of people who are choosing to blatantly ignore the rules that remain in place.

Since the start of the year, the force has issued more than 300 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for blatant and repeated breaches.

Over the past weekend a total of 70 FPNs were issued across Cheshire despite the recent flooding.

The fines were issued for a variety of breaches such as being out without a reasonable excuse and mixing with other households who were not in their support bubble.

Three FPNs were issued in Crewe after a family travelled from Preston to visit their friend’s house and in Warrington a FPN was issued to a homeowner who had invited friends round for a ‘get together’.

While in Chester, two FPNs were issued after a personal trainer was found to be having clients round in their garden and in Widnes FPNs were issued to multiple friends from separate households who were out in a vehicle without a reasonable excuse.

Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “I know the majority of residents will continue to stay at home and do all they can to limit their contact with others and I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for all the sacrifices you have had to make.

“There are, however, still a minority who will flout the rules and when our officers are faced with these blatant and repeat breaches, they will enforce this to protect the NHS and save lives.

“The rules are clear – you must stay at home except for very limited exceptions.

“We all need to continue to use our common sense when leaving our home and ask – ‘is my journey necessary?’

“By checking each time we go to leave our house, we will be limiting the potential spread of the virus. We must have these personal boundaries in place to help drive down the rates of infection.

“At the end of the day, we all have a personal responsibility to do everything we can to prevent further deaths.”

Police officers are out and about patrolling key areas across the county including beauty spots to ensure that residents are staying safe.

ACC Sims added: “Now it is more important than ever to stay at home as much as possible. We may have seen cases decrease recently but we must not get complacent and must continue with the hard work to drive down infections.

“Our officers will continue to be inquisitive and will be engaging and explaining with those who are outside of their home and ensure that they are doing so safely, for blatant breaches we will continue to enforce.”

Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “People across Cheshire are doing their very best to do what they can to ensure that we can beat this virus with a hope to turning back to normality eventually.

“We need everyone to pull together to drive down the number of cases across Cheshire. Please stick to the rules and adhere to the guidance which is in place to keep you safe.”

For further advice and guidance please visit the Government website.

To report a coronavirus breach visit the Cheshire Police website.

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