A police force is reviewing cases of people apparently breaking coronavirus lockdown rules to make sure enforcement action taken by its officers was "proportionate".

Cheshire Police initially said six people had been summonsed for offences under new social distancing laws introduced on Thursday.

In a post on its Warrington Police twitter account on Sunday, the force said the offences included being "out for a drive due to boredom" and "returning from parties" as well as "multiple people from the same household going to the shops for 'non-essential' items".

When contacted by the PA news agency for more details of the incidents, the force said the tweet was "incorrect" and there were only five cases.

A spokesman added: "On each occasion, officers explained that they were in breach of the new legislation and they were all given the opportunity to engage with officers and comply.

"However, they refused to acknowledge the severity of the situation and the officers felt they were left with no other option than enforcement.

"As this is new legislation we are reviewing the circumstances of each case to ensure it was proportionate.

"We would like to stress that enforcement is always a last resort - our aim is always to engage with people, explain why they need to go home and encourage them to follow the guidance."

The force has so far provided the details of three of the cases:

  • At 3.55am on Sunday officers stopped a car containing two men. "After engaging with the men officers found that they were not related and were from different households. The pair, who were both from the Stockport area, stated to officers that they had driven to Warrington as they were bored."

  • At 3.57am on Sunday police stopped a vehicle. "It emerged the driver and passenger were unknown to each other and had met at a house party that night. They said they were on their way to a garage."

  • At 4am on Sunday a man was stopped in the street and said he was returning from a party. "It was explained that he shouldn't be meeting up with people from other households as it contravened the current legislation."