People are being reminded that the current lockdown rules remain in place as we approach what is expected to be the final week of the Stay at Home message.

Next Monday (29/03) has been earmarked as the start of the next phase of the Government’s so-called roadmap back to normality.

However, it is important that people do not pre-empt any announcements from the Prime Minister and continue to follow the rules as they currently stand.

The latest figures show that between 15/03 and 21/03 Wiltshire Police:

• Issued 41 fixed penalty notices. This brings the overall total to 821 (this will include FPNs issued retrospectively).
• Issued nine formal warnings to people for failing to adhere to the Government rules.
• Recorded 282 reports from members of the public, either via the phone or using our online reporting tool.
• Recorded eight Covid-related crimes and 24 Covid-related incidents.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said there had been a rise in fixed penalty notices issued over the past week, and that this was largely down to a small number of indoor gatherings.

He said: “I know, as we edge closer to the date that the Prime Minister has highlighted for his next review of the Covid-19 restrictions, the temptation is there for people to start socialising and go beyond what the law currently allows.

“However, we must remain patient and cautious, if we are to keep the infection rate down.

“Over the past week we have seen isolated incidents of gatherings indoors and we have taken action, issuing fixed penalty notices where appropriate.

At around 11.30pm on Saturday (20/03) officers stopped a vehicle in Downton Road, Salisbury, and spoke to the six occupants.

The five female passengers, aged between 26 and 51, told police that they had travelled from Salisbury down to Bournemouth and then back again, to celebrate the fact that one of them was getting married soon.

All six were issued with £200 FPNs and the driver, a 31-year-old man, was also reported for traffic offences.

In the early hours of Sunday morning (21/03) officers were called to a house party at a flat in Albion Street, Swindon.
They dispersed the group and issued £200 FPNs to five men and three women, all aged in their 20s.

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson added: “It is disappointing that we are continuing to see people who seem to think the rules don’t apply to them.

“We may be looking to the future and the roadmap out of lockdown, but it is important to remember the restrictions that remain in place and all take personal responsibility for keeping infections down.”

For a full list of the current restrictions, as well as any announcements from the Government, please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus