Hampshire Police have urged the public to take personal responsibility and keep their distance for others, following the government’s changes to lockdown regulations.
But they have said officers will still take action where necessary and will be focusing on those activities that remain prohibited including unlawful gatherings and travelling to visit others in their homes.
Assistant Chief Constable Scott Chilton said: “The efforts of the public over the past few weeks have meant police officers have not had to widely enforce the Government regulations – thank you. I am confident the vast majority will continue to do their bit and follow the guidance in this next stage.
“As many of us are now able to spend much more time outdoors and travel to work, each of us need to take responsibility for doing that within the restrictions set out by the Government.
“As a police force, we are no different to anyone else, in that our priority, and the public’s, is to reduce the spread of this infection and protect the NHS.
“Personal responsibility is now key – think carefully about where you are going and how you will be able to keep your distance from others. Keep in mind the purpose of the regulations and the national effort to protect the NHS and save lives.
“Our overall aim is to continue to encourage and support our communities to comply fully with the restrictions.
“Officers will be focusing on those activities that remain prohibited including unlawful gatherings, travelling to visit others in their homes.
“We will use common sense and discretion to determine what’s reasonable. We can now issue fines for £100 in the first instance to those not adhering to Government guidelines. However, officers will continue to engage, explain, encourage and, only as a last resort, enforce.
“Ultimately, we are all in this together so it’s important that the public listen to the advice as this is about all of us continuing to limit the spread of the virus.”
“Officers are also working hard to keep us all safe from the full range of crimes in what remain challenging circumstances so we would ask everyone to work with us and remember that if you need our help we are here for you.”
For guidance on what you can and can’t do, please seek advice released by the Government: