Police officers moved on a massive 850 people from Thanet beaches yesterday (May 9).
Police ‘engaged and moved on’ the huge number of people breaking restrictions on public life in place to flatten the spread of coronavirus.
In a tweet Thanet Police posted: “Officers have today engaged with and moved on roughly 850 people in breach of regulations across Thanet’s beaches. We understand the frustrations that come with warm weather and thank the silent majority staying home and protecting our communities.”
#CPT officers have today engaged with and moved on roughly 850 people in breach of regulations across Thanet’s beaches. We understand the frustrations that come with warm weather and thank the silent majority staying home and protecting our communities.#StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/mElW6lJ19O
— Kent Police Thanet (@kentpolicethan) May 9, 2020
The breaches are despite ‘guidelines’ issued for social distancing by the government. A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Officers were out on patrol around the county on Saturday, as they are every day, ensuring people were adhering to the government regulations by engaging, explaining and educating people on the government COVID-19 advice.”
Police powers enacted by the government last month mean police may:
- instruct people to go home, leave an area or disperse
- ensure parents are taking necessary steps to stop their children breaking the rules
- issue a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days
- issue a fixed penalty notice of £120 for second time offenders, doubling on each further repeat offence
Individuals who do not pay a fixed penalty notice under the regulations could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.
Kent Police had issued 53 fines for breaches of government public health regulations under the Coronavirus Act between March 27 and April 13. However this data, published on the website of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, is yet to be updated.
In Thanet there have been 547 cases of people testing positive for the virus. Up to April 24 Thanet has registered the loss of 75 loved ones, with Cliftonville West suffering the greatest number of losses.
Tonight (May 10) Prime Minister Boris Johnson will make a statement about easing of restrictions. This is due for broadcast on all major channels at 7pm.