Hampshire Police have said they will take a more robust attitude to the new lockdown.
Assistant Chief Constable Maggie Blyth said: “We will continue to follow the tried and tested approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging people to comply with the restrictions. However I have emphasised to our teams that robust enforcement action should be taken as required, where blatant breaches in public places or private premises are reported to us.”
ACC Blyth added: “The re-introduction of national lockdown restrictions will be challenging to many in our communities across Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight, who have done all they can to limit the spread of Covid-19 and support the NHS throughout 2020.
“I’d like to thank them all for their concerted efforts in such challenging times, please keep this up so that the country is able to capitalise on the optimism that a new year brings following this period of national restrictions.
“The message is simple, you should be staying at home, it’s vital that everyone understands this and observes the restrictions in place.”
But she also said the police are there to support anyone in fear of abuse.
“We do recognise that home doesn’t always mean safety for everyone,” she said. “We want you to know we are there for those of you that need us. There are individuals and children that will continue to suffer from the impact of abuse, both physical and mental, during the government restrictions.
“This is worse during a period behind closed doors where contact with other people like friends and family is restricted. Anyone who is facing abuse or harm should call 999. If you’re not in a position to speak press 55 and our controllers will know what to do. We are there for you, please call us if you need us in an emergency.
“You can also call Hampshire Domestic Abuse Service on 03300 165112 or Stay Safe East on 0208 519 7241 to get confidential help.
“Limiting the spread of infection is everybody’s responsibility, and not just down to the police or enforcement. We will continue to work with our health colleagues, businesses, government, hospitality owners, local authorities, universities, and others, as we ensure that we all play our part in keeping our communities as safe as possible throughout the pandemic”.