North Yorkshire Police leader’s face mask call to keep area’s residents safe
Superintendent Charlotte Bloxham believes people will cooperate with the rules to keep the community safe and save lives.
The new Covid-19 rules came into effect today (July 24), making it mandatory for face coverings to be worn in shops and supermarkets and fines are enforceable for anyone who does not adhere.
North Yorkshire Police will only fine people as a very last resort and will continue to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the rules.
Superintendent Charlotte Bloxham, silver commander for the response to Covid-19, said: “As with the policing of the previous coronavirus regulations, we know the vast majority of people will do as the Government have asked, as they know how important it is to protect themselves, their families and other people.
“Since the new regulations were announced, we have been liaising with local retailers to explain how we will police these new regulations.
“To help keep our phone lines free for urgent policing matters, we urge anyone who wishes to report a breach of the regulations, to do so via our online coronavirus reporting form which can be found on our website.
“Please only call if a situation escalates and your safety is threatened. Once again, we thank the people across the region who have shown great support, understanding and compliance with the guidance and regulations so far.
“It is because of your sacrifices that we are now in a position where we can enjoy more freedom. Please stay safe, and help to limit the spread.”
Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, added: “Controlling the spread of the virus, which it seems clear will be part of our lives for some time, is a vital part of trying to return to a more normal way of life.
“Wearing face masks in shops and supermarkets is one part of that and I support the new rules and North Yorkshire Police’s approach to them.
“Clearly, it is never going to be possible for officers to police every retailer or respond to every report of someone not wearing a mask. If you have concerns, please report them on the North Yorkshire Police website rather than calling 101.
“We need everyone to be sensible and to do their part to ensure we stop the spread of coronavirus, but also we need our emergency services to be focused on prioritising the most serious incidents to keep us safe and feeling safe.
“Achieving that balance in these challenging times is difficult and I would ask everyone to use their common sense and be patient as we all get used to this changed world.”