Police warn they will issue fines, as clear guidance is set out about being out and about in Felixstowe

By Derek Davis

17th Apr 2020 | Local News

Police have warned those coming to the Felixstowe peninsula for non-essential reasons will be warned or fined.

Clear guidance has been issued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS so the people will not have the excuse of ignorance to call on any longer.

Police officers in Suffolk had handed out 95 fines for those flouting social distancing and coronavirus rules as of Wednesday, with chief constable Steve Jupp saying: "I think we are taking a really balanced, proportionate approach to tackling those who are not following the guidelines.

"But, as a last resort, we are willing to hand out these fines."

Suffolk police has re-iterated its pleas for people to observe social distancing measures, and to stay at home except for essential travel this weekend.

Patrols have been stepped up by police as they target beauty spots in and around Felixstowe dealing with people just out for a drive, or take in a view at places such as Landguard Point and all along Felixstowe seafront.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: "We would urge the public to continue to adhere to the government instructions to stay home, save lives and protect the NHS.

"We understand these are difficult times for all concerned but it is vital this continues to be followed.

"We are very grateful for the vast majority of the public sticking to the restrictions and appreciate their on-going support."

Fresh guidance has been issued by the CPS on lockdown measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

And homes are being warned that nipping out to buy paint for decorating and working on a park bench instead of at home are not considered reasonable.

The College of Policing and National Police Chiefs' Council this week published additional guidance handed to them by the CPS on top of the already well-drilled government rules which only allow people to leave the house for the following – exercise; buying groceries or medication; buying medication or groceries for the vulnerable; or travelling to work where home-working is not possible.

Summarised below are the key points considered likely and unlikely to be reasonable that have been released into the public domain:

Food

  • You can buy several days' worth of food when you go out shopping
  • Luxury items like alcohol and chocolate are allowed in your shopping basket
  • You can collect surplus basic food from friends
  • You can collect hot food from takeaways, although many are delivering instead

The CPS said: "There is no need for all a person's shopping to be basic food supplies; the purchase of snacks and luxuries is still permitted.

"If a person is already out of the address with good reason, then it would not be proportionate to prevent the person from buying non-essential items."

DIY
  • Buying tools and supplies for necessary repairs, such as damaged fences or plumbing is allowed
  • Buying paint and brushes for redecoration work is not considered reasonable

The key here is that maintenance and upkeep is considered to be okay, but does not extend to renovations and improvements.

Exercise
  • You are allowed to stop and rest while on a long walk, but prolonged periods seated on a park bench should be avoided
  • You can drive to somewhere such as a country park for exercise, but driving for a prolonged period for short exercise is not acceptable

While driving to somewhere for exercise is deemed lawful, it is understood that, where possible, people should ideally be undertaking exercise which involves their nearest park or the most sensible option.

Work
  • Travel is allowed for non-key workers who cannot work from home
  • Delivering food packages to vulnerable or isolating people is acceptable
  • Knocking on doors offering cash-in-hand work is not acceptable
  • People should not be working in their park instead of from home

Other reasons
  • Taking a pet to a vet for treatment is allowed, but things such as renewing a prescription for a pet should be done over the phone or email where possible
  • People can move to a friend's home for a couple of days as a "cooling off" period after an argument at home. Domestic abuse victims moving out of a property where they do not feel safe is acceptable
  • Providing support for vulnerable people is reasonable, but visiting people at their home or in public to socialise is not

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