Police launch online tool for people to report neighbours and shops flouting lockdown

Lancashire Police has launched an online tool for people to report anyone breaching the coronavirus lockdown.

By Matthew Calderbank
Wednesday, 29th April 2020, 9:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th April 2020, 10:22 am

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Lancashire Police had issued the most fines of any police force in the country for alleged breaches of lockdown restrictions.

And as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in Lancashire - with more people testing positive here than anywhere else in the North West - the force has introduced a new tool to help it enforce the lockdown and protect public health.

An online form has been made available where people can quickly report suspected breaches of lockdown restrictions in their community.

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The public can now report suspected breaches of lockdown restrictions on the Lancashire Police website

A police spokesman said: "You've been asking us for a quick and easy way to report COVID-19 related crime and incidents.

"Today we launch an online tool to do just that.

"Please use this form to report incidents relating to breaches of the government rules that state people should stay at home and all retailers selling non-essential goods should close."

The spokesman added that in an emergency, the public should still ring 999.

The new online reporting tool can be used to report individuals and businesses who are suspected of breaching lockdown compliance guidelines

A person will be asked for their contact details and asked to provide a description of the incident.

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New policing powers mean the force can issue fines of £60 to people deemed to be outside without a valid reason.

If you are unsure of what activities you are permitted to do during lockdown, you can check our comprehensive guide here.

Speaking earlier this month, the force's chief constable Andy Rhodes said although most people across the county had complied with the restrictions, officers had recorded more than 4,800 Covid-19 related incidents.

He said: "Our aim has always been to encourage and support our communities to comply fully with the restrictions by engaging, explaining and encouraging.

"The vast majority of people are fully complying with the guidance and advice and we thank them for helping to stop the spread of the virus.

"We are clear that only when faced with non-compliance will we then enforce as a last resort for individuals who have not responded to engage, explain, and encourage and where public health is at risk.

“This is an unprecedented public health emergency with an unprecedented national effort to fight this virus.

"We’re all in this together and each and every one of us has a role to play by following the government advice."

You can report a COVID-19 incident on the Lancashire Police website here.