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Officers on duty over the weekend saw that it was a really happy Halloween for most. They saw that the majority of people were following the guidance and keeping themselves, their families and their communities safe while celebrating.
However we found a number of people still putting their social life ahead of their own health, the health of loved ones, and those who are vulnerable by hosting house parties and breaching the rule of six.
In total we attended 33 incidents where health regulations were being breached, and issued 92 fines.
On Saturday (October 31) the Government announced that England will enter a second national lockdown from Thursday, as the spread of the deadly virus continues to escalate.
Over Friday and Saturday night, we issued 12 Fixed Penalty Notices to people having a house party at a property in Sherborne Road, Southampton.
We issued 25 fines to one group of people who were found to be having a house party at a property in Osbourne Road North, Southampton.
We then issued an additional 30 Fixed Penalty Notices to people at a house party on Gordon Avenue in Southampton. On our arrival, many people tried to get away by running out of the back of the house. All those found to be attending were issued with individual fines.
Despite the national announcement on Saturday regarding the increasing risks of the virus transmission and stricter measures, in Winchester a man was reported for a breach of COVID regulations after he allowed more than six people to gather in his house.
The owner of Emporium on Elm Grove in Southsea was served with a £1000 penalty after they were found to be allowing a group of 12 people to attend the premises for a birthday party.
Officers weren’t only responding to health regulation breaches, as we expected it was a busy night across the two counties.
Officers attending the report of an assault at a home in Southsea on November 1 were spat at, sneezed and coughed at by a man claiming he had coronavirus.
Assistant Chief Constable Maggie Blyth said: “The only way we can get this virus under control and save lives is by everyone in the community sticking to the legislation and taking responsibility.
“The health regulations are in place to protect you, your friends, your families.
“Thankfully, most people in the community understand the seriousness of the situation and are following the guidance. It was great to see lot of people enjoying Halloween in a safe way.
“But this weekend has proved there are always a few people who ignore what is best for them and others, and make decisions that put other people’s lives at risk.
“The majority of the incidents we attended on Saturday night were house parties organised by adults and attended by significantly more than six people. Where this is still happening our enforcement activity is, by necessity, focused and robust.
“We will continue to focus our efforts on those who are intent on ignoring the legislation, at the same times as tackling offenders, reducing crime, and protecting those who need our help – with crime rates back up to pre-pandemic levels, officers are working really hard to keep the public safe.
“We must remember, it is only by us all working together to follow the legislation that we are able to limit the spread of the virus.
“I want to thank everyone who is taking their personal responsibility seriously and I want to assure you that we will continue to take action against those who needlessly put others at risk.
“The change in restrictions outlined by Government on the weekend come into effect on Thursday 5 November and more information can be found on the Government’s website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november. Please refrain from calling us to ask questions about the new legislation, we need to keep our lines open for emergency calls.
“For now, it’s important to remember the restrictions that are currently in place, specifically the rule-of-six, the wearing of face masks, self-isolation rules and limitations on gatherings. For more information, go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-medium
“You can tell us about possible breaches of regulations via our website: https://www.hampshire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/tell-us-about-possible-breach-coronavirus-measures/.”