Essex Police Crime Commissioner makes statement on Covid-19

Statement from Essex Police and Crime Commissioner

Roger Hirst

“LIKE you, I’m a resident of Essex and I am concerned about the level of Coronavirus cases in our county. We must act now to save lives and save jobs.

I fully support Essex’s request to the Secretary of State to be placed under a high level of restrictions and have been part of the process that led to making that decision. Infection rates are rising exponentially across the county. A month ago there were no COVID-19 cases in our hospitals. In the last three weeks there have been 13 deaths.

This move is about keeping people safe, our friends and our family, our community. We know that if we don’t act more people will die and we will face a much tougher challenge in a few weeks’ time, with the strong possibility of having to face a longer, more severe lockdown.

We have all made sacrifices to keep our communities safe, to follow the guidance and keep this terrible virus at bay. For that small minority who blatantly disregarding social distancing it is right that they receive a fine. I welcome the government’s decision to increase these fixed penalties to a maximum of £6,400 for individuals and £10,000 for businesses.

Across Essex over the last week we have seen the police taking a strong approach to these breaches and it is important for all of us to understand that when the rules are broken by a small minority, they will face consequences.

We are now all asked not to meet with anybody outside our household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether in our homes or in a public place; and not to meet in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or other space.

We can still go to work, go to school, visit places of worship and exercise outside.

We need to turn the tide now to save lives and save jobs. We can do it together, but it takes all of us.

Please keep safe and remember don’t be a link in the chain of transmission in this virus, wash your hands, wear a face covering, keep a safe distance. Don’t meet indoors. Let’s Stay Safe Essex. Thank you.”

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