“If we become overzealous enforcing the lockdown, we will lose the good will of people. Enforcement is our last resort,” said Lincolnshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson.
Speaking with The Lincolnite on Tuesday, she said generally people in the county abided by the lockdown and social distancing advice in the past week.
Besides a small number of incidents last weekend, including one arrest for assaulting, coughing at and spitting on an officer, ACC Wilson said people in Lincolnshire generally behaved since lockdown was introduced last Monday.
She said: “We’ve been very measured in our approach to the whole issue and new powers and legislation.
“The direction I’ve given my staff is to work and support communities in this unprecedented public health emergency by ensuring that we maintain social distancing and good advice and guidance. This is about engaging, explaining, encouraging them to have a good behaviour.”
When asked about people reporting their neighbours for appearing to flout lockdown rules, ACC Wilson said there were “not even hundreds” of such calls the force received.
“You do not know unless you are in somebody else’s shoes,” she said. “Many people volunteer to help the vulnerable, to help deliver food, shop for people. We’re not going to send an officer round to their house to start interrogating them.
“If we see something disturbing and breaking the spirit of the legislation, then we will deal with it. We will be quite robust with that.”
Meanwhile, Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson said the force is monitoring reports of increased domestic abuse and disturbances within households, but at the time she said there was no marked rise in such incidents locally.