‘We will fine you £100 if you put others at risk’ – Police chief’s warning as he urges people to act responsibly

Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker. Photograph: North Yorkshire Police

The chief of North Yorkshire Police has urged people to take personal responsibility for their actions under the new, relaxed lockdown rules.

And he’s warned that those who don’t now face fines of £100.

Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker who is leading the response to the Covid-19 in North Yorkshire, thanked the “overwhelming majority of people in York and North Yorkshire who have listened over the past eight weeks and stayed at home to save lives”.

Now that we are allowed to travel and exercise as often as we like, “personal responsibility is key” he said. “Think carefully about where you are going and how you will be able to keep your distance from others.

“Please also remember that although you may be able to travel to our beauty spots, countryside and beaches, when you get there, many of the facilities may be closed including public toilets, cafes, shops and tourist attractions.”

North Yorkshire Police on patrol in Whitby. Photograph: NYP Ops Support Unit 4 on Twitter

And Asst Ch Con Walker issued this warning:

  • I know that the vast majority of people will use their common sense, will want to keep themselves and their families safe and will follow the restrictions to the letter.

    But the minority who choose not to should be aware that the fines under the regulations have now increased to £100.

    Although my officers do not want to use their enforcement powers if they don’t have to, it’s right that they’re able to take action against a minority who disregard the remaining restrictions and in doing so, put people at risk.

This will be a challenging situation for the police “but we will continue to engage with people, explain the regulations and encourage people to follow them, using enforcement as a last resort”.