PSNI latest force to launch web page to report coronavirus breaches
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd is encouraging the public to use a new web process to “sensibly” report incidents where Covid-19 social distancing rules are being flouted.
“We want to resolve situations where the restrictions are being contravened without having to resort to enforcement powers or issuing fines,” he added.
“However, where breaches do occur, we want to make it as easy as possible for members of the public to tell us, while at the same time, making sure that the ‘101’ number remains available and accessible to those who need to report a crime or an incident.”
As of Friday (April 10), Mr Todd said the PSNI had received 906 complaints of the restrictions not being adhered to, including people making non-essential journeys, not adhering to social distancing or gatherings in public places.
Mr Todd said he was encouraging people to “carefully consider the circumstances” before making a report, but stressed that all reports would be considered by staff coordinating the operational policing response to Covid-19.
“Every day there are dedicated officers to ensuring we engage, explain, encourage and, if necessary, enforce the regulations,” he added.
Mr Todd said the simple online form can be used to submit a complaint or report about a person not adhering to required social distancing – a gathering of people in breach of social distancing requirements, a person repeatedly travelling for non-essential purposes or a bar or licensed premises remaining open.
He added that everyone has a personal responsibility to follow the regulations and “do everything to stop the spread of Covid-19, protect the Health Service and save lives”.
“We also have an opportunity to follow the approach of our officers – ‘Engage’ those in your household; ‘Explain’ the importance of the restrictions; and ‘Encourage’ everyone to follow them,” said Mr Todd. “We all have a part to play and make a difference.”