Lincolnshire
November 10, 2020 11.06 am

Lincolnshire Police fined out-of-town visitors and shut down a gym, but “most behaving”

Visitors fined over “no good reason” to be in county

A Sleaford gym and two out-of-towners visiting Lincoln have been the first to get into trouble with police over the new lockdown laws.

Lincolnshire Police Chief Superintendent Paul Timmins, who is coordinating the county’s COVID-19 response, said most people had behaved themselves across the first weekend of lockdown.

But there had been some incidents, including two people on Monday night who were fined for travelling into the Lincoln area.

C/Supt Timmins said: “They turned up from out of county in Lincoln, were stopped by one of our patrol officers and on speaking to them, established they weren’t from within county.

“They didn’t have any good exemption or reason for being in Lincolnshire, and therefore were in breach of the legislation and were ticketed.”

Elsewhere over the weekend a Sleaford gym opened when it wasn’t supposed to.

C/Supt Timmins said some of the legislation “can be interpreted sometimes in a few different ways”.

He said on that occasion police had given the business advice, after which they closed.

“We use the enforcement where we need to, but also where it’s clear that there’s been an error made, and people just need a little bit of support they can get that,” he added.

C/Supt Timmins, however, added: “Generally it’s been very much similar to what we experienced with the previous lockdown which was everyone adhering to it, behaving, one or two minor issues but nothing to really write home about.

“Certainly, we’re not seeing what we’ve seen in other parts of the country, like people having large scale parties.”

A Facebook post from the force over the weekend also asked people to adhere to the guidelines, adding that it was “disappointing to see groups of youths out and about carrying on as normal” in Lincoln.

Mr Timmins said people had a “personal responsibility” to keep themselves safe and pushed the government’s “hands, face and space” message.

Tony McGinty, Lincolnshire County Council’s assistant director of health, also warned that the “severity of this lockdown is significantly dependent on us”.

He understood people’s frustration but added: “doing the best that you can do for this four week period could make a big difference to where we land in the beginning of December and the kind of freedoms we have back.”

“There’s a risk that the government will decide four weeks wasn’t enough to do what they needed to do with the numbers, but when we come out of national lockdown, it would be great if we pull the rabbit out of the hat and got ourselves back down into one of the lower levels of alert,” he added.

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