Wiltshire Police says it will issue £100 fines to those who deliberately flout the law banning social gatherings of more than six people, but only as a law resort.
Chief Constable Kier Pritchard is urging the public to take personal responsibility ahead of changes to the government’s coronavirus regulations coming into place on Monday.
It is clear the force will only hand out fines, which can double to a maximum of £3,600 for repeat offenders, in cases where people breaching the law refuse to listen to requests to disperse by police.
He said: “The Government has made it clear that, due to the rise in Covid19 cases over recent days, it is necessary to introduce further restrictions to help keep people safe.
“Therefore, from Monday people will no longer be able to gather in groups of more than six people inside or outdoors.
“Police forces across the country have been clear from the beginning, that we will focus on engagement before enforcement and police officers will do their best to speak to people and explain the regulations before taking action.
“We believe that most people understand the importance of the restrictions and the ongoing need to socially distance to prevent the spread of the virus and the possibility of a “second spike” this winter.
“However, it is also clear that the vast majority of the public do want to see these rules enforced and, if people deliberately flout the law, despite officers’ attempts to engage with them, then we will take enforcement action.
“We all need to continue taking personal responsibility for our actions at home, work and in our leisure activities – we are all in this together.
“I would like to thank our communities in Wiltshire and Swindon once again as we continue to see high levels of compliance with the restrictions in place.”
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