Coronavirus - our response
During this major incident, we are continuing to provide all the essential services you expect from us, while supporting the NHS and other organisations to keep everyone safe.
Our focus remains on delivering core policing services to keep our communities safe – preventing and detecting crime, catching criminals and protecting the vulnerable.
Officers and PSCOs on patrol will continue to maintain the existing approach of engaging with the public and explaining the government advice to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, using enforcement only as a last resort where people refuse to comply.
Chief Constable Giles York said: "Our role is to maintain law and order and protect public safety. During this new phase, as more people spend time outdoors, this can best be achieved if everyone takes personal responsibility for doing that within the guidance set out by the government, as has been the case to date in the vast majority of cases.
"Please continue to think carefully about why you are out and how you will be able to keep a safe distance from others. Keep in mind the purpose of the regulations and the national effort to protect the NHS and save lives.”
If you are contacting us about a policing matter we may ask if you are self-isolating in order to manage the risk to officers and staff who may attend.
We need your support to help us concentrate our efforts where they are needed most, protecting the vulnerable, so please only call 999 if a person is in immediate danger or a crime is currently taking place.
If you have a non-urgent enquiry about how we are the policing the restrictions bought in to combat the Covid-19 outbreak, please check our frequently asked questions below before contacting us for help.
These new measures are there to save lives and protect our loved ones. We will be enforcing them, as the public would want us to. Follow the advice, stay at home and help us to help the national effort.
No. Although the reasons for being outdoors have now been widened the guidance sets out what is and isn’t permissible. The focus for police is now narrower which is on those activities that are now not lawful or which are not listed as a reasonable excuse for leaving or being outside of their home, for example gathering in large groups of travelling for a holiday or to visit a second home.
There will be no policing of borders for Covid-19 purposes. People should only be travelling for allowable reasons, and in those cases where travel is unrestricted. If someone in England for example drives to Scotland or Wales for something that isn’t a reasonable excuse in that region, then they may be in breach of regulations in force there.
We will use common sense and discretion to determine what’s reasonable. Officers will engage, explain, encourage and, only as a last resort, enforce.
The new guidance puts more emphasis on personal responsibility which the vast majority of people have displayed over recent weeks. We trust the public to be honest with us and to continue engaging with us positively, but of course officers will inquire further where necessary.
Everyone has a responsibility and a civic duty in respecting the terms of this lockdown. Thousands have tragically lost their lives, and we expect the public to continue to observe the new guidance. Most have been very sensible, and we thank them for the personal sacrifices they’re making.
We won’t start counting households – that isn’t practical or a good use of our time. But where we see clear breaches, we will act appropriately.
If officers are out and about, they will engage, ask questions to establish circumstances, and will then explain the regulations, encouraging those breaking the rules to go home. We will only enforce as a last resort.
Officers will be focusing on those activities which are now not lawful such as gathering in groups or which are not listed as a reasonable excuse for being outside – such as going on holiday.
As things slowly return back to normal, we would expect to see a return to things we have come to experience in the past. Ultimately, any changes to regulations from now on will mean more people are out and about. We are ready to meet any increase in demand, at whatever pace it comes. As ever, we ask the public to stay vigilant, and keep reporting crime to us.
No, that’s government guidance which we wholly support but is not in the regulations. People need to take individual responsibility for following the guidance.
It is now legal for people to travel to beauty spots. However, people must be responsible, follow government guidance and maintain social distancing. We also urge people to keep in mind the purpose of the regulations and the national effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.
Officers cannot police or enforce social distancing, which is government guidance not regulation, and people can now spend as much time outside as they want. Nor are there limits on travelling long distances.
If there are groups mixing and not of the same household, there is still a role for police to engage, explain, encourage people to comply with guidance and, only as a last resort, use enforcement where appropriate.
However, the following activities are not in the list of examples of reasonable excuses:
- To go on holiday, this includes to visit and stay overnight at a holiday home or second home.
- To visit the homes of friends and family (exceptions include to protect a vulnerable person, for medical purposes or to escape risk of harm).
- Travelling to outdoor spaces in Wales and Scotland for recreation (not exercise) may result in offences being committed in those jurisdictions, and so may not be a reasonable excuse for leaving home.
Yes, because this is a not a reasonable excuse for being outside your home. We will use common sense and discretion to determine what is reasonable. Officers will engage, explain, encourage and, only as a last resort, enforce.