Police chief warns officers might search shopping or impose roadblocks to stop lockdown flouters

Telegraph reporters
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A police officer has warned his force will consider roadblocks and searching shopping trolleys to stop lockdown flouters putting lives at risk.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley, of Northamptonshire Police, said his force would now ramp up the enforcement of coronavirus regulations.

Mr Adderley said the "three-week grace period is over", and people in the county could now face fines or a criminal record.

He said the force might have to resort to more extreme measures such as roadblocks and searching shopping should people continue to break the rules.

Mr Adderley said: "These are not guidelines any more. This is the law.

"We haven't issued any fixed penalty notices, but we have charged a number of people with Covid-19-related offences.

"We've had examples of people sunbathing in the park, having barbecues in the park, we've had large gatherings of family members. To those people, I am saying 'your time is up'."

Speaking on Sky, Chief Constable Adderley warned that he thinks he has the powers to arrest people under anti-social behaviour laws.

He also said: “NHS staff are dying on the front line fighting this deadly disease and over 85,000 people have lost their lives worldwide because of it. Covid-19 has taken people of all ages away from their families far too soon - sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, partners, friends.

“And yet some people are still breaching the restrictions put in place solely to protect them and the people they love. Rightly and understandably, this is starting to greatly frustrate those members of the public who are following the rules.

“To those who have been breaking the rules - when this is all over, will you be able to take pride in how you responded to this national emergency or will you be remembered as one of the people who were fined for risking the lives of your family and friends, and our brave NHS medics fighting Covid-19 on the front line?”