Northumbria Police are urging people to only leave the house if it is only absolutely necessary and to ensure social distancing at all times.

As the country enters its second week of another Covid-19 national lockdown, Northumbria Police has commended the way people came together in 2020 and urged them to continue that into 2021.

Assistant Chief Constable Scott Hall, of Northumbria Police, said: “We would ask that you continue to work with us – and follow the regulations and guidance in place to protect one another. In doing so, we are calling on all our communities to play their part in helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

We all have a responsibility to abide by the regulations which are in place to help protect our family, friends, neighbours and wider communities. Throughout the pandemic, officers have been engaging with communities, explaining the regulations which are in place, encouraging people to follow them – and where necessary taking enforcement action. We will continue to speak to people about the restrictions and offer advice to those who have mistakenly broken them.

However, as we have previously made clear, we won’t waste time with endless encouragement for people who knowingly break the rules, undermine the efforts of others and ultimately endanger lives. They should expect to receive enforcement action.

We will also continue to work with our partners from local authorities to ensure those vital businesses which remain open are operating in accordance with the regulations and where necessary support them in addressing unacceptable behaviours by customers. When we receive reports from the public of suspected breaches of the legislation we will send officers where it is proportionate to do so, while balancing our response with other incidents we have to attend.

It is important to remember other demands remain. We are proud of the way our officers, staff and volunteers have adapted the way they work to ensure they stay safe and keep the regular wheels of policing turning.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness adds: “I cannot stress enough how vital it is that we pull together to make this lockdown work. It is the only way we can buy time to allow for the roll-out of vaccinations to start taking effect which will allow us to edge nearer to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Everyone has a role to play. Stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary. This is for the good of our families, our region and our country.

By choosing not to follow the rules you are choosing to put people’s lives at risk and that is unacceptable. And so I make no apology for police officers taking tough action against those deliberately endangering the health of others. Public safety is priority.

At a time of added pressures and strain on our police force I want to remind people that they have a responsibility to self-police this too. The regulations are clear. Before you push the boundaries or take a risk, think of the potential consequences of your actions, and please, think again.

Let’s see this through together so we can all be seeing each other again soon.”