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Council and police hold joint patrols to support pandemic restrictions

Published Monday, 23 November 2020

Patrols by officers from East Northamptonshire Council and Northamptonshire Constabulary have shown that most people and businesses are complying with coronavirus restrictions.

Teams of officers have been giving out advice on how to comply with the emergency regulations, answering questions from businesses and reminding people about wearing face coverings and keeping social distances.

The vast majority of individuals and businesses are complying with the government restrictions with only one Fixed Penalty Notice issued to date in East Northamptonshire.

Environmental services officer, Kieran McCoach explains:

“Councils and the Police have different powers for helping to manage the lockdown so it makes sense that we work together to cover the broader set of issues as well as pick up on any other problems that might be cropping up in neighbourhoods.

“Our residents and businesses really seem to understand the importance of working together to protect our community and we’ve had a positive response from business owners who welcome the support in ensuring that customers wear face masks and maintain social distancing. Where there are issues, we’re working with the businesses and residents to ensure everyone understands what is required of them. “

Steven North, Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, said:

“It has been heartening to hear how the vast majority of retailers, businesses and public have been working together to keep the community safe and I welcome these patrols to provide support and advice and help limit the spread of infection."

Superintendent Elliot Foskett, from Northamptonshire Police, said:

“We have been provided with funding by the Home Office to help enforce the Covid-19 legislation and as a result have been working closely with our local councils to patrol our towns and villages.

“Throughout the pandemic we have followed an engage, explain, educate and enforce approach, where we have prioritised speaking to the public, reminding them of the legislation and only taking enforcement action as a last resort.

“The vast majority of people are following the guidelines and I thank them for that, however, we will not shy away from taking enforcement action when it is clear a breach has taken place, including any businesses that have broken the law.”

So far, patrols have taken place in Rushden, Higham and Irthlingborough with future visits planned for Raunds and the north of the district.