Dorset Police have confirmed they’ve issued 23 fixed penalty notices so far, for alleged breaches of the lock down laws introduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
This covers the period between Friday 27th March and Monday 13th April 2020, which includes the week before Easter and the Easter bank holiday weekend.
Across the whole of England, 3,203 on-the-spot fines were issued during the same period, to people not complying with the COVID-19 restrictions.
Prevent people travelling into the county
Over the four day Easter bank holiday weekend, Dorset Police say they had a team of officers positioned on the main arterial routes to prevent people travelling into the county from other areas.
They stopped hundreds of vehicles to check with drivers that their travel was essential and while most had a valid justification for their journey, many did not.
Deputy Chief Constable David Lewis for Dorset Police
Deputy Chief Constable David Lewis for Dorset Police said:
“I am pleased to say that the vast majority of people we stopped on the roads were making essential journeys. We did speak to some people who had travelled from as far as Birmingham, Bristol, Kent, London and Brighton. The majority were educated about non-essential journeys and were asked to turn around. For the very small minority we had to resort to enforcement.
“The situation is very clear – for now Dorset is closed to visitors. We know how fortunate we are to live in a beautiful part of the country, but our enjoyment of that, for now, will have to wait and we are working closely with our partner agencies to ensure we are issuing the same consistent message. Please do not travel here, because our officers will be continuing with their daily patrols. You will be turned around and where necessary fines will be issued. We are here to ensure people follow these rules and help to save lives.
“Overall I have been delighted with the response from our communities in Dorset who are staying at home – thank you. Our many proactive patrols showed that the majority of people who were using the outdoor areas were indeed exercising and only the occasional sunbather had to be moved on.”
Police officers in Dorset are continuing to work with the public to ensure they understand and adhere to the COVID-19 rules and have issued a video to highlight that if anyone still isn’t clear about what they can and can’t do, then they can find the answers on the Dorset Police website.