HAMPSHIRE police have promised “robust enforcement” where needed to ensure residents follow lockdown rules.
Assistant Chief Constable Maggie Blyth issued a statement outlining the force’s approach to the new laws which were passed by parliament yesterday (Wednesday) and are set to last until at least mid-February.
They include a ban on leaving home other than for defined purposes which include essential shopping, health purposes and exercise. Non-essential businesses must also close.
Ms Blyth said the return of lockdown restrictions would be “challenging” for many residents and she thanked them for their efforts, and said it was a joint responsibility to limit the spread of infection, which is rising across the New Forest and Christchurch.
She went on: “In return, our officers will do all that they can to keep our communities safe. 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.”
“The message is simple: you should be staying at home. It’s vital that everyone understands this and observes the restrictions in place.”
She also had a message for people at risk of abuse in their homes, adding: “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.”
She urged those facing abuse or harm to call 999 and, if unable to speak, to press 55 and the controllers would be able to help.
The Hampshire Domestic Abuse Service number is 03300 165112 or Stay Safe East on 0208 519 7241.