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  1. ITV Report

Eight people fined in two days - Cleveland Police use powers to enforce social distancing

The fixed penalty notices were given to those not complying with new social distancing guidelines to slow down the spread of Coronavirus. Credit: PA

Cleveland Police has issued eight fixed penalty notices in the past two days to people not complying with new social distancing guidelines and restrictions designed to slow down the spread of Coronavirus.

Under the powers given to police, no-one will be allowed to leave their home "without reasonable excuse" and officers can ensure that people stay at home, avoid non-essential travel.

Police will be able to order people to go home, leave an area or disperse.

While the new powers mean officers can issues fixed penalties and make arrests, but the Cleveland force say they will continue to take an ‘educate and persuade’ approach using the new legislation as a last resort for non-compliance.

Community Safety Chief Inspector Scott Cowie reiterated the message that people must adhere to the new regulations in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

“Whilst we now have the powers to enforce protection in order to help save lives and protect our NHS, policing by consent is at the heart of our public service. We will continue to encourage and support our communities to comply with the restrictions, but it’s right that our officers are now able to enforce against those who disregard these measures and put others at risk.

“We are urging people to adhere to the government’s guidelines and not to make unnecessary journeys. Where people are going out to exercise, they should do this in the local vicinity of their home and not travel across the county.”

– Community Safety Chief Inspector Scott Cowie