Chief Constable John Robins has issued a statement warning they will use new powers to enforce the restrictions
Police officers in West Yorkshire now have new powers to enforce the government's 'stay at home' restrictions, introduced to try and control the spread of coronavirus.
The Chief Constable of the county's police force has issued a statement, saying while the vast majority of people are following the rules, the small minority who are deliberately breaking them will be dealt with 'robustly'.
The government say you should only leave the house for very limited purposes:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent 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, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.
Chief Constable John Robins said:
"Thankfully, I know that the vast majority of people across West Yorkshire are heeding the advice and guidance and I want to thank them for that. Where they are not, the approach of my officers and staff will be to encourage, explain and engage to seek compliance. Ultimately though, some people will choose not to comply, so I have had to tell my officers and staff to use these new powers where they need to - especially with people who are deliberately breaching the restrictions and putting other people’s lives at risk.
"In order to establish why people are out and about on the roads, my officers will have to stop and speak with even more people than usual. I hope you will understand they are just doing their job, just trying to keep us all safe.
"These new restrictions and police powers are about halting the spread of the virus. I believe we have the public’s support to do this and we will do it in a reasonable and proportionate way, but we will need to enforce them when we have to.
"My officers and staff continue to work relentlessly, twenty four hours a day, across West Yorkshire to reduce crime, protect the vulnerable and provide reassurance during this time of national crisis. We will continue to keep the people of West Yorkshire safe and feeling safe. Please play your part by abiding by the temporary restrictions."