Dorset's Chief Constable urges us to stay at home

Dorset's Chief Constable urges us to stay at home

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:26am 25th March 2020. (Updated at 9:22am 25th March 2020)

Dorset Police's Chief Constable is urging us to comply with the government's rules during coronavirus outbreak.

Dorset Police's Chief Constable is urging us to comply with the government's rules on coronavirus.

James Vaughan said in a personal message to the county's communities:

"While we are coming to terms with the impact these restrictions will have upon us, I would like to reiterate that these measures have been brought in to save lives and protect our loved ones.

"The rules are very clear and guidance can be found on the website.

"I urge you all to follow this very simple advice to stay at home and help us to help the national effort.

"We all need to pull together and I am confident that you will all listen and abide by these very simple rules. We owe it to our loved ones, our friends, colleagues and neighbours to keep people safe and well.

Anyone caught breaking the government's new rules could be issued a £30 fine, which could increase if people don't comply.

The rules include:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • one form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household;
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

Police were out in force across Dorset yesterday, ensuring the government's new rules are enforced.

PCSOs 6534 and 6057 patrolled Dorchester separately today. It was strange seeing the town so empty but reassuring that...

Posted by Dorchester Police on Tuesday, 24 March 2020

James Vaughan said:

"Demand upon public services is being placed under growing strain and I would urge you all to think carefully before calling the police for non-urgent matters that can be dealt with through our online services.

"Dorset Police remains open for business and we will continue to keep people safe and respond to serious crime but our key priority over the coming weeks and months will be to provide visible leadership for our communities through these extraordinary times. 

"However, I must make myself clear that whilst we will adopt a caring, compassionate and respectful approach to the new Government direction, I must warn people that non-compliance of these reasonable and necessary restrictions will ultimately lead to positive police action and potentially prosecution under emergency powers provided to me by Parliament.

"In responding to this national emergency it must not be forgotten the sacrifice our officers and staff, alongside other emergency services, are taking so we can continue to protect you, prevent crime and uphold the law. I am immensely proud of the commitment and dedication they continue to show.

"We are doing all we can to keep our officers and staff safe while they continue to serve the public."