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A total of twenty-six people, many of whom were men and women aged in their twenties, have been reported for summons in relation to fixed penalty notices following a car meet in Alton over the weekend.
At around 20:15pm on Saturday 23 January a resident reported a disturbance at Blacknest Industrial Estate. Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team, Response and Patrol, and Roads Policing attended to find a large number of vehicles that had gathered for a car meet.
Officers blocked off the car park to enable all those present to be identified. Following the officers engaging, explaining, and encouraging the members of the public to observe the current Health Protection Regulations in place, twenty-six people were reported for summons in relation to fixed penalty notices for blatant breaches of the regulations.
Cars including BMW’s, Nissan’s, and Toyota’s had gathered and officers identified that some of the drivers had come from addresses in Surrey, Kent, Berkshire, and even Shropshire. People inside the cars were from different households and many were not wearing face coverings.
Superintendent Phil Lamb said: “This was an excellent piece of team working by officers from Neighbourhoods, Response and Patrol, and Roads Policing, following a clearly unacceptable gathering during the current pandemic.
“While our approach to engage, explain, and encourage people to follow the Health Protection Regulations continues, it was obvious that enforcement was required in these circumstances.
“Some of those people that officers spoke to accepted personal responsibility, but others were extremely defensive. It’s shocking that such a large number of people have completely ignored the current lockdown, thereby putting themselves and their loved ones at risk from the virus. It’s reckless actions like this that place increased and unnecessary pressure on the NHS.
“As per the government guidance, ‘stay local’ means stay in the village, town or part of the city where you live. The guidance strongly requests that people do not leave their local area.
“We all have a responsibility to follow both the regulations and the guidance in place to protect the NHS and save lives. I’d like to thank the vast majority of people in our communities who have been working hard to follow the rules, those who do not follow the regulations in place to limit the spread of the virus should expect to receive a fine.”