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COVID enforcement crucial to bring rates down and keep them that way

by Jonathan Kearney

Over the last 7 days (11-18 February), Knowsley’s local policing team has issued more than 98 Fixed Penalty Notices to individuals found to be breaking Covid lockdown rules. The decisive action from Merseyside Police has been welcomed by Knowsley’s Outbreak Management Board as an important part of the efforts to reduce COVID case levels.

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council and Chair of the Outbreak Management Board commented:

“We are really very appreciative of the support we are receiving from colleagues in Merseyside Police. Although we would prefer to be in a situation where enforcement of COVID restrictions wasn’t needed, the reality is that not all members of the community are sticking to the rules. With case levels as high as we have seen here, this is not something we can ignore.

“Working alongside Council officers, the Police’s proactive approach really is being welcomed by the vast majority of our residents who are following the rules and doing their bit to support efforts to control the spread of the virus. Hopefully it is also sending a strong message to our communities that the rules are there to be followed, to protect us all, and there will be consequences for people who refuse to do this.”

Over the last seven days fines have been given to individuals for a range of non-compliance activities including the non-wearing of face coverings, breaching of household rules, gathering in groups of more than two and being out and about for non-essential reasons.

Superintendent Jennifer Wilson from Merseyside Police said:

“Our approach is always to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the rules but when all those actions have been exhausted, we will move on to enforcement. People know the rules of lockdown, people know the threat COVID presents to us all so there really can be no excuse for ignoring the rules, at the expense of others and the wider safety of the community at large and we will take enforcement against those who are breaching the current restrictions.

“We are working with the Council to ensure this is the case and it is really important to remember that this is for the benefit of everyone’s safety. Bringing down the case numbers of COVID will mean less people getting ill and ultimately will help us all return some of the freedoms we all miss so much.”