Avon and Somerset Police now has dispersal powers to help ensure everyone in Glastonbury adheres to the social distancing guidance laid out by the Government and Public Health England.
These powers have been granted under the Health Regulations 2020 and came into effect yesterday (March 26).
What does this mean for you?
• Police will be able to disperse groups of more than two people from any public place
• Groups of more than two people – who live in the same household – are permitted
• Anyone who refuses to disperse will be given a £60 fixed penalty notice, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days
• Second time offenders will be issued with a £120 fixed penalty notice – this will then double on each further repeat offence
• Anyone who does not pay a fixed penalty notice under the new regulations could be taken to court, where magistrates will be able to impose unlimited fines
• Anyone who refuses to comply will be acting unlawfully and may be arrested, but only if it is deemed proportionate and necessary
Officers will be out and about in the community to ensure that people are complying with the law.
Avon and Somerset Police’s chief constable Andy Marsh said: “We have changed what we do and the way we do it so we have cleared as much of our workload as possible that is non-essential.
“We’ve had about 10 days to do that so the officers, PCSOs and staff are ready to deal with whatever happens next.
“We’ve got hundreds of police officers and PCSOs out there today communicating with the public on how they can help us to help themselves to cut deaths by complying with this government advice.
“This does mean we are in a position to put more people in the community – on foot, on bikes and in cars – so if people are flagrantly disobeying these rules then they can expect a reasonable challenge from a police officer.
“People are being asked to stay at home to save lives and save the NHS. We are here to support that guidance.”