Police Service NI has launched a dedicated web page for members of the public to report instances where social distancing is not being adhered to.
The simple online form can be used to submit a complaint or report about a person not adhering to required social distancing; a gathering of people in breach of social distancing requirements, a person repeatedly travelling for non-essential purposes or a bar or licensed premises remaining open.
Last month, the government introduced restrictions on when people can leave their homes including to buy essentials, for medical reasons, to exercise or travel to and from their workplace.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd is encouraging members of the public to use the new web process sensibly to report breaches where the rules are being flouted.
ACC Todd said: “We want to resolve situations where the restrictions are being contravened without having to resort to enforcement powers or issuing fines. 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.”
Since the 28th March until today (Friday, 10th April), ACC Todd said Police Service NI has received 906 complaints of the restrictions not being adhered to including people making non-essential journeys, not adhering to social distancing or gatherings in public places.
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. Every day there are dedicated officers to ensuring we engage, explain, encourage and, if necessary, enforce the regulations. As we go toward Easter weekend this will be supplemented by additional officers. This will ensure we respond in a way which is consistent to keep us all safe.”
ACC Todd added: “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 also have an opportunity to follow the approach of our officers, Engage those in your household, Explain the importance of the restrictions and Encourage everyone to follow them.
“We all have a part to play and make a difference.”
To access the new web reporting process go to www.psni.police.uk/covid19