Since the 23rd of March, the UK has been in lockdown in a desperate attempt to fight off the spread of the coronavirus, with the UK Government ordering shops selling non-essential goods to close until further notice.
The new rule issued was that people should only leave their homes for daily exercise, essential shopping, helping a vulnerable person or for medical reasons such as visiting the doctor or picking up a prescription.
To ensure the new government advice was observed, police were given the powers to enforce these restrictions with fines if necessary.
In spite of the new rules and powers given to Police, a small minority flouted the Governments’ guidelines on social distancing and continued to travel for non-essential reasons.
National statistics recently revealed that over 3,000 on-the-spot fines were issued between the 27th March and 13th April – only 26 fixed penalty fines were issued in Dorset however suggesting that the majority of local people in Dorset were observing the new guidelines.
To prevent people travelling in and out of Dorset, officers from Dorset police carried out patrols particularly on main routes into Dorset and the BCP area with hundreds of vehicles stopped over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
Despite, the majority of people stopped travelling for the right reasons, Deputy Chief Constable David Lewis confirmed that several vehicles were entering Dorset from places such as Birmingham, Bristol, Kent, London and Brighton.
Lewis has since gone on record saying: “The situation is very clear – for now Dorset is closed to visitors…Please do not travel here, because our officers will be continuing with their daily patrols.”
Deputy Chief Constable Lewis added ” Overall I have been delighted with the response from our communities in Dorset who are staying at home.”