BREAKING SWINDON WILTSHIRE

People across Swindon and Wiltshire have been thanked for their ongoing co-operation with the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions

The first week of the latest stage of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown passed by without any significant issues.

Although we know that people will have taken the opportunity to meet up with friends and family over the Easter weekend, the overwhelming majority did so within the current rules.

These state that you can meet outdoors (including in private gardens) in either a group of up to six people or a group comprising of two households.

The “stay at home” rule has now ended, but the guidance states that people should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.

The latest figures show that between 29/03 and 05/04 Wiltshire Police:

• Issued eight fixed penalty notices. This brings the overall total to 861 (this will include FPNs issued retrospectively).
• Issued two formal warnings to people for failing to adhere to the Government rules.
• Recorded 277 reports from members of the public, either via the phone or using our online reporting tool.
• Recorded two Covid-related crimes and six Covid-related incidents.

Five of these FPNs were issued to a group of people from different households who were found inside a vehicle together.

Officers stopped the car in Somerset Road, Swindon, in the early hours of Saturday morning (03/04).

They found a group of young people who admitted they were in the car together as they were socialising, but were informed they were only allowed to socialise in groups of up to six outdoors, not in vehicles.

All five, aged 18 to 20, were issued with £200 fines.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said: “The first week of the gradual easing of the Government’s restrictions has passed without significant issues of concern and I want to thank everyone for their ongoing support.

“I know many of you will have used the relatively good weather over the bank holiday weekend to have long-awaited reunions with families and friends, meeting outdoors in groups of up to six people or two households.

“We also had a protest in Swindon on Saturday, where a group of people gathered peacefully and respectfully, ensuring the event was in line with the Covid-19 regulations.

“I know that a further relaxation of the rules will come into place next Monday, including the reopening of many businesses, such as non-essential shops and hairdressers, and outdoor hospitality venues.

“This is all very positive, but I would continue to urge everyone to remain sensible and ensure you are continuing to do everything you can to limit the spread of the virus.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson added: “The ongoing relaxation of lockdown is very positive, and I know it will mean so much to so many people to be able to start returning to a more normal way of living.

“But we must continue to remember that we are living with Covid-19, so we must remain cautious.

“Please make sure you are keeping your distance from others, regularly washing your hands and wearing face coverings when needed.”

For a full list of the restrictions and the changes which will be coming into place from Monday, please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus