People urged to stay at home as county enters third national lockdown
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The country has entered a third national lockdown to help control the spread of Covid-19.
People should stay at home and only leave to shop for essentials, exercise, work, seek medical assistance or escape domestic abuse. The measures, which will stay in place until at least mid-February, includes the closure of schools, whilst early year settings can remain open.
The approach to policing the lockdown in Kent has not changed and officers will continue to police in the way they have since March – using the 4E approach. Engaging, Explaining, Encouraging and Enforcing only as a last resort.
During the new year period, Kent police officers closed down house parties, dealt with people breaching self-isolation requirements and flouted travel bans between 31 December 2020 and 3 January 2021. In total 42 people were fined.
On New Year’s Eve officers attended a property in Oaten Hill, Canterbury where a group of teenagers were holding a party and a man was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £200.
The same evening more fines were handed out in Medway as people held parties and met friends. Four separate incidents resulted in 15 fines being issued to people in Gillingham, Chatham and Rochester.
On New Year’s Day, at 9am, two men from outside the county were fined £200 each after officers attended a property in Wickhambreaux, Canterbury. One of the men had travelled 80 miles from his home to the property, which had been booked for a birthday party.
Later the same day officers stopped a vehicle near to Medway Services. On speaking to officers she said that she had travelled from Scotland to attend a house party. She was fined £200 and told to return home.
A stop check by officers in New Road, Chatham resulted in a £1000 fine for a man who failed to isolate after testing positive for Covid-19 and was meeting with other people.
Another £1000 fine was issued to a woman in Ramsgate on Sunday, 3 January. The woman was a passenger of a car involved in a collision and enquiries revealed that she should have been self-isolating.
Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix, of Kent Police said: ‘The vast majority of Kent residents recognise the importance of abiding by the regulations to control the spread of Covid-19 and stayed at home with members of their household to see in the New Year.
‘In other instances, we were able to disperse people and remind them of their personal responsibility to do the right thing and follow the law.
‘However, on the occasions where people showed a blatant disregard for the regulations, putting others in danger by hosting gatherings or meeting others whilst infected with the virus, officers were left with no other option but to issue fines.
‘As we enter the third national lockdown we will continue to police in the way we have since March – engaging with people, reminding them of their responsibilities and taking further action when necessary.
‘The restrictions are designed to reduce the infection rate – but they will only work if people comply. I would urge everyone to familiarise themselves with the latest guidance to ensure we all collectively help reduce infections. Preventing the spread of the virus is a shared effort, and police will play their part alongside the Government, businesses, hospitality owners, local authorities and the public.’