Sussex Police have released the following statement this morning.
Thank you once again to the vast majority of Sussex residents who continue to observe the government’s restrictions and maintain socially distancing to ensure the cases of coronavirus do not suddenly escalate.
Together with all our colleagues responding to this unprecedented pandemic we are working hard to keep people safe and protect the most vulnerable to save lives. But we are not over this national health emergency yet and we ask the public to listen to government advice and only change behaviours as new guidance is provided.
“Now is certainly not the time to attend parties, travel to family and friends for birthday celebrations or make a long journey for a day trip to the beach,” said Chief Superintendent Jane Derrick.
“However this is just what some people did this weekend and they were issued with fines for flouting the travel and social distancing restrictions and potential putting people’s lives at risk.
“We know that it isn’t easy, especially when the sun is out but fine weather is no indicator of the restrictions lifting or indeed the spread of coronavirus slowing, there is still a way to go.
“Those, who explained they were bored and fancied a day at the beach, were issued fines at Birling Gap, Seven Sisters, Camber Sands and Brighton. They account for about half of the 45 fines issued in Sussex on Saturday.
“Also falling foul of the current restrictions that day were those who travelled to family or friends’ birthday parties; or joined friends in their cars for a day out.”
Seven fines have gone to parents in the last week, after their children, aged 15 to 17, were taken home after they had met up with their friends and refused to follow advice from our officers.
Chief Supt Derrick added: “Perhaps now more than ever, we need people to take personal responsibility to help slow the spread of this deadly disease. They need to take socially distance seriously, stay local and avoid places that are popular such as coasts, beauty spots or popular countryside walks to minimise the number of people they may meet.
“Our policing approach during the lockdown has not changed. We are still in communities patrolling, we are still talking to the public and explaining the guidance and legislation, but we will take enforcement action when it is absolutely necessary to do so.
“We are working 24/7 preventing and solving crime and the online demand in our Contact Centre has escalated, driven by the public reporting breaches of the current measures.
“We can only save the unnecessary loss of lives by taking personal responsibility for our actions and supporting one another over the coming days, weeks and months.”