Police will now be able to enforce lockdown rules after new powers were introduced by the government.
Under the measures, officers will be able to hand anyone breaking lockdown rules a £60 fine.
The powers, which were passed under emergency legislation at Westminster, are designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Police will be able to instruct people to go home and avoid non-essential travel, under the powers.
You can follow live updates on coronavirus from around Lincoln and Lincolnshire in our live blog.
For those who break the rules, it means police can:
- Instruct them to go home, leave an area or disperse;
- Ensure parents are taking necessary steps to stop their children breaking the rules;
- Issue a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days;
- Issue a fixed penalty notice of £120 for second time offenders, doubling on each further repeat offence.
For those who do not pay the fine, they could be taken to court where magistrates will be able to impose an unlimited fine.
Police will also be able to arrest those who continue to fail to comply.
Home Office officials have said, however, that officers will “apply their common sense and discretion” in the first instance.
In Lincoln, police have already taken steps to disperse gatherings after a group of teenagers who were spotted drinking in a park were split up.
Hykeham Police reported on their Facebook page that they were attending a gathering of 10 young people at Millennium Lake last night (Wednesday, March 25).
Emma Chapman, who lives nearby, took a photo of abandoned drinks tins at the park.
She said what the teenagers were doing “endangered every single one of us”.
“Really sad to see this round the lake this evening,” she said.
“Sad because of the blatant littering, sad because of the danger to wildlife and sad/angry to hear from the PCSO I saw moments later that she was trying to find the 12 idiot teenagers who had been gathered there.
“That’s 12 separate families, potentially carrying the virus. Then who knows how many more that will spread to as they go off to work or the supermarket.”
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