Residents urged to stick to the rules after 685 fines issued since beginning of January lockdown

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Police are urging residents to continue to stick the rules after a large number of fines were issued in the first month of lockdown.

Since lockdown began on 4 January, a total of 685 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have been issued by Cheshire Constabulary.

The force follows the approach of engage, explain and encourage but when officers are met with blatant and/or repeat breaches of the regulations, they will enforce immediately.

Officers have dealt with a range of breaches from gatherings, businesses remaining open when required to close and people being out without reasonable excuse.

Over the last weekend alone (Friday 5 February to Sunday 7 February) 116 FPNs were issued across the force.

Of this figure, 15 FPNs were issued following a party at an address in Alderley Edge which had been hired through an online booking site.

Officers attended the address at around 8.30pm on Saturday 6 February and spoke with a man who claimed everyone inside was from the same household.

On entering the property, officers found balloons, party banners and alcohol. It was clear that not everyone in attendance were from the same household and that this was a blatant breach of the lockdown restrictions.

Officers explained the lockdown rules to all those inside but some attempted to hide away in cupboards to avoid engaging with police.

Elsewhere, five fines were issued for a party at an address in Crewe, two fines were issued after people from different households were out without reasonable excuse in Widnes and three fines were issued following a gathering at a property in Warrington.

Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “While the majority of Cheshire residents are abiding to the rules, there are still a minority who are bending and blatantly breaching restrictions which are in place to save lives.

“Officers are risking their own health to protect Cheshire residents from this deadly virus and when they are met by blatant and repeat breaches they will enforce without delay.

“There are many more people in hospital with the virus during this lockdown than at any time during the pandemic. This is why it is so important that people continue to stick to the regulations, we will only get through this health emergency by us all doing the right thing.

“We know that most residents have been incredibly supportive and have assisted our efforts by staying at home and only leaving for the few exemptions outlined by Government. For that, I thank you.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane said: “With the vaccine programme being rolled-out and the majority of people following the rules, each day we get closer to beating the virus but there is still a great deal of work still to do.

“By sticking to the lockdown regulations we will not only protect our loved ones but also those most vulnerable in our communities by reducing the spread of coronavirus.”

For further advice and guidance please visit the Government website.

To report a coronavirus breach visit the Cheshire Police website.

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