Humberside Police is one of the first forces to offer an online reporting tool that members of the public can use to let officers know about group gatherings.
A spokesperson for the force said:
“Following the Government’s announcement earlier this week around police powers to disperse anyone in groups of more than two people, we have seen an increase in the number of calls to our non-emergency 101 number, with reports of people not adhering to the guidance.
“While we know everyone is concerned, this is creating additional demand on our service, but we know you all want to play your part and do your bit to help our local communities and save lives.
“With this in mind, we have created an online reporting portal, where people can submit a form to advise of any gatherings that are not in adherence with the guidance, and ease the demand on 101”.
Head of the Force Control Room, Chris Philpott said:
“We know the vast majority of people are following the guidance issued by the Government in relation to gatherings, however, we are aware there will be individuals who choose not to adhere, and understandably, people do want to report this type of behaviour to us as it is risking lives.
“The online portal has been developed precisely for reports of this nature, where groups have been seen gathered, and has a dedicated team who will receive the report as soon as it is made.
“Reports will be assessed based on the information provided, and we would ask people to please consider the circumstance before making their report.
“For instance, if a couple and two children are seen in the park, it’s highly likely they are all from the same household and are taking the opportunity for their one form of exercise of the day, which under the guidance is allowed.
“However, if there is a group of ten people of the same age gathered in a car park, it’s more likely they are not from the same household.
“We will not be able to deploy officers to every single report of social gatherings that contradict the Government’s advice and dependent on the information within the report will determine our response.
“However, it may be some of the reports are referred on to our partner agencies, our Local Authorities, for example, who could take further action to stop gatherings in certain places.
“Responses or outcomes will not be provided to those who submit a report, as would be the case calling 101, but please be rest assured it will have been received, and action is taken where appropriate.
“Everyone is pulling together during these unprecedented times, and our thanks go out to all of our residents across the Humberside Force area who are following the Government’s advice to do the right thing in order to protect the NHS, which in turn will save lives.
“Please help us in continuing to provide you with a policing service and protecting you by reporting these incidents online and keeping the non-emergency 101 number free for us to deal with all other incidents. Please always call 999 in an emergency.”
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