Police continue to respond to COVID breaches across Essex

Essex Police are continuing to crack down on people found to be ignoring COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

On Wednesday February 3, two men in Brentwood were issued fines after meeting officers twice in the same evening.

It was explained to the men that they didn’t constitute a bubble and should return to their respective homes – one of which was outside Essex and issued fixed penalty notices (FPNs) when their advice was ignored.

A Grays householder was issued an FPN for hosting a party on the evening of Friday February 5.

On Sunday February 7, FPNs were issued by Grays CPT officers to two men riding off-road bikes in Purfleet for making an unnecessary journey and being from different households.

A man who drove his three friends to Southend in the early hours and then told officers they didn’t need to know why he was there was issued with an FPN.

Another driver, who decided to take late-night trip to Southend to ‘see the sea’ with two friends, had to make alternative arrangements to get home after being stopped by officers. All three sightseers were issued with FPNs and the car was seized as it was uninsured.

A night out with friends turned out to have a hefty price for five young men in Southend on Thursday February 11. Special constables were patrolling in the Prittlewell area when they stopped a car, which was being driven erratically.

The occupants were searched after the Specials noticed a suspicious smell coming from the vehicle. One of them, a 17-year-old boy from Hockley, was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon following the discovery of a knife. He has since been released under investigation.

His friends were all issued with FPNs for COVID-19 breaches.

Finally, nobody wants to be late but a couple who travelled from Devon for a hospital appointment in London were directed back to the South-West after stopping off to stay with family in Benfleet. Records showed they weren’t due at the hospital for another nine days.

Essex Police say officers will continue to take a common sense approach to the government’s regulations and want people to continue to report COVID-19 breaches.

For further details about the latest COVID-19 restrictions, please visit the government’s website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]