Police across the county have issued 36 fixed penalty notices during lockdown

A statement released by Devon and Cornwall Police today asked people to "follow the spirit of the Government’s COVID-19 guidance, not just the letter of the law". 

Devon and Cornwall Police

Since the start of the national lockdown on Tuesday, 5 January, through to Sunday, 10 January, Devon and Cornwall Police say they have received 885 Covid-related reports. Of those 885, they decided to deal with 699 of them with "3Es action", meaning "Engage, Explain and Encourage".

36 fixed penalty notices have been issued, this includes nine for outdoor gatherings, four for leaving house without reasonable excuse and for 15 indoor gatherings

Community Messaging Officer, Shirley Craft, said: "36 fixed penalty notices have been issued, this includes nine for outdoor gatherings, four for leaving house without reasonable excuse and for 15 indoor gatherings.

"We have undertaken high-visibility patrols across the force which has resulted in over 800 stop-checks and around a dozen fixed penalty notices being issued.

"Our roads do appear to be quieter as shown by the notable reduction in road traffic collisions since lockdown, and crime is down around 11 per cent compared to pre-lockdown figures. 999 calls are down around 10 per cent but calls and contact to our 101 service is up around 23 per cent compared to the week prior to lockdown."

Our roads do appear to be quieter as shown by the notable reduction in road traffic collisions since lockdown, and crime is down around 11 per cent compared to pre-lockdown figures

This statement does cover the whole of Devon, so many people in the South Hams might disagree that the roads are quieter. Many people have commented that certain areas (Thurlestone and Salcombe especially) are definitely busier than usual at this time of year. 

Police say "the vast majority of communities are complying with the regulations" and they will "always look to respond" to calls where non-compliance is being reported.

There is always doubt about the efficiency of fixed penalty fines, and of course "if the penalty for a crime is a fine, then that law only exists for the lower class” - Unknown. 

Look after yourself, and each other. 

- Sam Acourt, Editor

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