POLICE will be out and about across Cheshire again this weekend reminding residents to stay at home as the battle against Covid-19 goes on.

Ahead of the fifth week of lockdown, officers will be engaging with the community, explaining why it is crucial they stay at home to help protect the NHS and save live.

And the force is telling residents not to be offended if they are stopped by police, as it is 'for a good reason'.

Supt Richard Rees said: “I want to thank every single person in Cheshire in helping to play their part in tackling the spread of coronavirus – listening to the advice they have been given, taking it on board and staying at home where they can.

“The steps you are taking during this global pandemic will help to save lives and protect the NHS.

“This is an unprecedented time and these are unprecedented measures and the strict social distancing measures are set to remain in place for at least the next three weeks."

This weekend officers, supported by the special constabulary, will encourage residents to follow the guidelines – with enforcement only a last resort, Cheshire Police says.

Checks on roads are also continuing to make sure that those travelling in Cheshire are doing so for one of the essential reasons.

“It is important that we have the continued co-operation and goodwill of everyone," added Supt Rees.

“We do appreciate the difficulties and uncertainties that everyone is facing but I am confident that the people of Cheshire will pull together, support one another and show their true community spirit as we continue to adjust to our new way of life.

“Officers will continue to be out and about stopping people and talking to them as they go about their journeys – on foot and by car.

"If you are stopped by one of our officers please do not be offended by this – it is for a good reason."

Officers insist their work in the community is crucial to ensure criminals cannot take advantage of the lockdown.

Supt Rees added: “Criminals are quick to change their habits depending on the circumstances and, even in a nationwide lockdown, they will still find a way to operate.

"Part of our checks are to ensure those out and about are not there for criminal gain.

“We police with the consent of the communities we serve and a positive relationship with those communities is more important than ever."

The public health regulations are in place to ensure people stay at home and avoid non-essential travel – unless for one of the following reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • One form of exercise a day - for example, a run, walk or cycle - alone or with members of their household
  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where they cannot work from home

Participating in gatherings of more than two people in public spaces is also not permitted except in very limited circumstances, for example, where it is for essential work purposes.

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “I would like to thank the majority of Cheshire residents who are abiding by the guidance and staying at home to help relieve pressure on our NHS and save lives.

“Sadly, there still remains some individuals who think the advice does not apply to them and I would urge them to think about the impact their actions are having on the wider community.

“Emergency service workers across Cheshire are working flat out in extremely challenging circumstances while putting themselves and their families at risk. It is our duty to support them and not put them under unnecessary pressure.

“The more we cooperate and work together as a community by acting responsibly the faster we will be able to beat this crisis.”