Bedfordshire Police urge residents to behave responsibly ahead of lockdown

The four-week period of restrictions will see pubs, restaurants, non-essential shops and leisure facilities close

By Alex Ross
Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 4:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 4:44 pm

Bedfordshire Police are urging members of the public to play their part in helping contain the spread of coronavirus by being responsible ahead of the new ‘lockdown’ which will come into effect tomorrow (Thursday).

The Prime Minister has announced a four-week period of restrictions which will see pubs, restaurants, non-essential shops and leisure facilities close across the country in a bid to stop the rising rates of infections.

The overarching message is for people to stay home – only leaving for specific reasons such as work, education, or if they are in danger, such as being a victim of domestic abuse.

Bedfordshire Police urge residents to behave responsibly ahead of lockdown

Today (Wednesday) people are being urged to not risk catching or spreading the virus by going out on a ‘final evening’ ahead of the new measures.

Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway said: “There’s a real danger, with people seeing a last chance to go to the pub or let off the fireworks they’d set aside for Thursday, that they will set all personal responsibility aside and behave just as they wish, with households mixing and alcohol reducing inhibitions, impacting on social distancing.

"We all know that behaving as we wish rather than as we should can very obviously kill others; there’s no argument that holds water that any of us don’t understand what is happening with the pandemic and why we’re going back into lockdown to try to contain infections and in our county - particularly in both Luton and Bedford - we have seen just how infections can snowball.

“Bedfordshire Police need to be able to concentrate on responding to life-threatening matters, not chasing up those who want a last hurrah at the expense of others, if they don’t socially distance and want to mix with those from other households."

Covid Marshalls will continue to carry out checks at businesses and essential shops to ensure compliance with the rules.

That message was echoed in a joint statement from Bedfordshire's three councils, Leader of Luton Council, Cllr Hazel Simmons, Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, Cllr James Jamieson, and Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson.

They said: “We all recognise that lockdown is hard, but it is necessary to help control the virus. It may be tempting to make the most of the last day before the restrictions come into force but we would strongly urge people to resist this urge and think about those in our community who are most vulnerable to this deadly disease.

"The pandemic is affecting us all, it is affecting our economy, local jobs, our lifestyles and of course some people are sadly losing their loved ones to the virus.

"We can’t emphasise strongly enough that everyone has a part to play, what you do can make a difference.

"Play your part in protecting our loved ones, protecting our economy and our communities.”

Bedfordshire Police will also be carrying out checks and fining those who are flouting the rules, particularly through large gatherings and house parties.

Chief Superintendent John Murphy said: “We know the sacrifices people have made already this year, and appreciate just how difficult the coming weeks are going to be.

"But we’ve seen the positive impact that such restrictions can have on slowing the spread of the virus and that ultimately protects the NHS and saves lives.

“We will be out patrolling alongside council colleagues to ensure people are complying with the new regulations, and will be enforcing where people continue to flout the rules and risk undermining all of the great work being carried out by the vast majority of our residents. Please play your part in helping to keep Bedfordshire safe.”