We have received the following update via West Mercia Police’s Community Messaging.
“Following the Bank Holiday weekend and the national release of the policing data in relation to the new Covid-19 legislation, I wanted to add my thanks to our many and varied communities across West Mercia for following the guidance and for doing the right thing: staying at home in order to help save lives.
“My officers continue to be out in their communities, dealing with crime and keeping people safe, and at the same time they are now dealing effectively with the new responsibilities and risks presented by the virus. The statistics we have been able to share on use of fines by way of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) show that we are using these new powers proportionately.
“30 FPNs have been issued in West Mercia between 23 March and 13 April. I believe this demonstrates that our supportive approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging, and only using enforcement action as last resort, is working.
“The vast majority of people are abiding by the guidance and the rules, and we appreciate their support and cooperation.
“However, we have had a small minority of people who, despite our best efforts, have refused to follow the instructions and officers have needed to use their enforcement powers. Where there is a clear breach of the regulations and no reasonable excuse, then we will take action.
“The vast majority of fines – eight in 10 – are given to young men, with two-thirds being aged between 18-34. I therefore appeal directly to our younger communities: please stay at home and do not put either yourself or us in a position where we are having to take enforcement action against you. The ‘stay at home’ measures are there to limit the spread of the virus and to keep us all safe, so please play your part. You are not immune and neither are those you come into contact with.
“This virus affects us all in one way or another. Let us continue to work together as effectively as we have been so far to minimise the impact on us all. Thank you for your continued support.”