PEOPLE are being reminded that the Government’s current COVID19 restrictions remain in place this weekend and should continue to take personal responsibility for social distancing.

Following the announcement that many restrictions will be lifted next Saturday, July 4, Wiltshire Police is encouraging people to not only continue to follow the current guidelines over the coming week, but also be sensible and responsible with their behaviour over the coming months.

It comes as the latest statistics show a total of 224 Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued in Wiltshire between March 27 and June 24 but none have been issued since May 31.

Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson has approved a process to provide scrutiny and oversight of the legality and proportionality of FPNs.

A Scrutiny Panel meets weekly to review and test all fines issued in Wiltshire and Swindon with an option to rescind unlawful and/or disproportionate notices. A review of all FPNs to date was conducted and as a result 15 FPNs were rescinded.

The latest weekly figures between June 14-21 show the Force recorded:

• One incident linked to COVID19 – the same number as the week before

• Two crimes linked to COVID19 – compared to five the week before

• Issued zero FPNs for the third week running

• No arrests for breaches of the COVID19 legislation.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said: “A number of incidents nationally, including the situation at the beaches on the coast in Dorset, have highlighted the requirement to emphasise the continued need for us all to be sensible and adhere to social distancing.

“I know the media has been reporting the Government’s latest announcement, that we will soon see pubs and restaurants re-open and will be able to spend more time with friends and loved ones.

“However, it is important to note that this lifting of restrictions does not happen until July 4, so the current situation remains the same – the same restrictions are in place as they were last week and the week before.

“The Government has made it clear that we will only be able to enjoy these new freedoms if we are responsible with them.

"If cases begin to rise again, then we could very well see ourselves back in lockdown, so I urge everyone to use personal responsibility and behave in a way which will keep us all safe.”

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jerry Herbert said he was pleased to see the number of COVID19-related crimes and incidents that police in Wiltshire were having to deal with was continuing to remain low, but urged caution about what could happen over the coming weeks and months.

He said: “The situation in other parts of the country, including in London and in Dorset, serves as a stark reminder that we cannot be complacent.

“It is clear that as more restrictions are lifted, there will be a temptation for people to ignore social distancing and believe that their summer can return to normal. This is not the case.

"Everyone needs to continue to play their part in preventing the spread of COVID19, so we do not see the second spike in infections that we are all so concerned about.”