Commissioner says police will not attend calls of facemark non-compliance

Monday 20th July 2020 6:04 pm
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Police in the South Hams will not be responding to calls regarding people not wearing facemarks, the area’s police chief has said.

Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, explained that officers will not be tasked to calls concerning people not wearing facemasks when they become mandatory in some settings this week.

Next week it will be mandatory for people to wear face coverings when they go to shops and other enclosed spaces – fixed penalty notices of £100 can be issued to people who do not follow the rules.

However, Ms Hernandez said that police officers would not be responding to calls which only involved someone not wearing a face covering.

She said: “It will just as we do now with covid, the police work on the four Es so they engage people, they encourage people, they educate people and they enforce – that may not be the right order – but they will still be doing that.

“But as has happened already probably in the last month is we are now back to normal policing, so they are rising back to the levels that they were before and we are moving back into ordinary policing. But the expectation is that they will only come if there is disorder or violence or something associated with it, they are not going to come to every phone call that someone is not wearing a mask.”

With tourists now able to visit the south west Ms Hernandez also commented on how the approach to policing was different this summer.

“We know we are the number one tourist destination in the country, we found out today that we are the number one lowest crime rate in the country, in England and Wales, which actually we have never been number one before so we are really proud of that. 

“We weren’t expecting our young people and our locals to cause much uproar when we came out of lockdown, it wasn’t loads of tourists it was our local people and we probably underestimated how much fun they would have. It was called Super Saturday, but it wasn’t just the Saturday; it started in the build up in the few weeks building up to that it started to go wrong, so we knew that it was going to be slightly different to a normal summer and they were in spaces where they don’t have all that managed arrangement.”

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