We’re here for you, say the police as widespread shutdown begins

With the country in the grip of a national emergency and people being ordered to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives, Avon & Somerset police have reassured the public that their officers and staff are still working tirelessly round-the-clock to keep communities safe.

The Government has ordered the closure of all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores, and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship.

To slow the spread of the disease, people are only allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;
  • one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

All gatherings of more than two people – excluding people you live with – are banned.

Parks remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed.

All social events​, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals, have been stopped.

Avon & Somerset Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “We’ve never faced a public health emergency like this and the restrictions put in place to keep us all safe will continue to have a big impact on our everyday lives.

“Understandably, many people are feeling concerned and anxious about the health and well-being of their family and loved ones. I want to reassure each and every one of you that we are still here for you. We’ll continue to respond to emergencies and high priority incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we’re still patrolling our communities, arresting offenders and detecting and solving crime.”

He said they were checking in on businesses and reiterating the Government’s advice and guidance around social distancing.

“Over the weekend, we did receive a small number of reports about businesses flouting the restrictions put in place by the Government to stop the spread of COVID-19. Local authorities have the powers to deal with businesses breaching the regulations and can issue prohibition notices, fines or revoke licences. Our officers will be reminding any businesses ignoring these restrictions of their legal and moral responsibilities.”