The police are enforcing the new Coronavirus regulations which came into force on the 26th March 2020 which relate to helping ensure that people stay and home and avoid non-essential travel.
The police can instruct them to go home and potentially issue a fixed penalty of £60 which doubles on each further offence. If the people involved do not comply then the police can arrest them if considered reasonable and proportionate. If the fixed penalty notice is not paid then under the regulations you could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.
This has led to police encountering some strange things like a driver being stopped with his wife in the car boot in York during a non-essential trip when the police stopped the vehicle whilst using a travel checkpoint. Apparently this was because they were going to pick up a set of windows meaning there was no room for her to sit within the car. He was issued with a road traffic offence report by the North West Motorway Police on Sunday.
It has been made clear to everyone that the police are to use their discretion but have these powers to enforce social distancing to try and deal with the unprecedented scenario involving Covid-19. The message is clear - to avoid any unnecessary travel and contact to help minimise the spread of the virus.
If you need any help or assistance with any criminal proceedings or issues, having an expert by your side and targeted legal advice can make all the difference in gaining the best possible outcome for you.
Contact Elizabeth Bradshaw via e-mail or on 01206 369889
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.