North Yorkshire Police will introduce vehicle checkpoints to help support the government lockdown and stop the spread of Coronavirus.
The checkpoints, due to start today (26th March), will be unannounced and could appear anywhere any time.
Officers will be stopping vehicles and asking motorists where they are going, why they are going there, and reminding them to stay at home.
The force says this is to ensure motorists are complying with Government restrictions and only making essential journeys.
Earlier this week, the Government announced significant changes to our way of life, instructing us to stay at home.
Under the new rules we should only go out for basic necessities, a medical need, to care for or help a vulnerable person, or travel to work (but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home).
These measures are backed up by legislation allowing the police to fine people and disperse groups of people who do not comply.
- Those who refuse to comply will be given a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.
- Repeat offenders will be issued a fixed penalty notice of £120, doubling on each further repeat offence.
- Individuals who do not pay a fixed penalty notice under the regulations could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.
- If an individual continues to refuse to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and the police may arrest them where deemed proportionate and necessary.
Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker, said: “The new and significant restrictions announced by the Prime Minister on Monday evening spell out very clearly what each and every one of us must do to save lives. The message is clear and the warning stark. Stay at home, save lives. “These are the lives of the people we know and love. Our partners, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, grandparents. You may never be in such a position again where your simple actions will lead directly to saving lives.
“Alongside the new restrictions, the Government announced new powers to enforce them. I know the vast majority of people will follow the restrictions without question, as they have done so already.
“And as the legislation comes into force, the roadside checks will help us to reinforce the messaging. So we ask people not to make non-essential journeys, and to understand the definition of essential. We sincerely hope that we won’t have to resort to enforcement action, but if people do not comply, we will.
“We’ll also be out on foot, with a highly visible policing presence, to disperse groups, enforce the social distancing measures and remind people of the seriousness of the situation we are facing.
“Please continue to look after each other, try and make the most of this unprecedented opportunity to spend more time with your loved ones, and remember we are here for you if you need us.”