Earlier this year, the Police Service of Northern Ireland launched a dedicated web page for members of the public to report possible breaches of the health protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (NI) regulations 2020.
The simple online form can be used to submit a complaint or report about people gathering of people in breach of social distancing requirements, a suspected breach of the International Travel Regulations or licensed premises in breach of the current guidelines.
This week the Northern Ireland Executive introduced new restrictions for certain areas in Northern Ireland regarding new social restrictions and guidance about travel and leisure. The new restrictions are focused on reducing contacts between people in homes in the affected areas.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd is encouraging members of the public to use the online reporting process sensibly to report breaches where the rules are being flouted and said; “We want to resolve situations where the restrictions are being contravened without having to resort to enforcement powers or issuing fines and our approach will always be to Engage, Explain, Encourage and only if required, Enforce.
“However, where breaches do occur, we want to make it as easy as possible for members of the public to tell us while, at the same time, making sure that the ‘101’ number remains available and accessible to those who need to report a crime or an incident.”
ACC Todd continued: “I am encouraging people to carefully consider the circumstances before making a report, but I can assure the public that all reports will be considered by our staff coordinating the operational policing response to Covid-19.
“My message to everyone is that we all have a personal responsibility to follow the regulations and to do everything we can to stop the spread of Covid-19, protect the Health Service and save lives. We all have a part to play and make a difference.”
To access the new web reporting process go to https://www.psni.police.uk/covid19/