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Beds Police will take a “proportionate approach focused on engagement, explanation and encouragement”

New coronavirus lockdown rules came into effect today (1 June 2020), lifting some of the restrictions on socialising and move further from the previous “stay home” message.

Although the new rules are less restrictive, they will still be enforced by the police and local authorities.

If you breach the law, the police may instruct you to go home, leave an area or disperse, and they may instruct you to take steps to stop your children breaking these rules if they have already done so.

The police can also take you home or arrest you where they believe it is necessary.

Bedfordshire Police Chief Superintendent John Murphy, leading the force response to Coronavirus, said:

“Following the government’s modifications to lockdown measures, we continue to take a proportionate approach focused on engagement, explanation and encouragement in respect of the regulations.

“The amended rules allow for groups of up to six to congregate outdoors, including having barbecues at other households. We are encouraged by the reasonable actions of the majority in Bedfordshire, and have issued zero penalty notices in the last fortnight as a result.

“We would like to thank the public for assisting us in keeping people safe, helping tackle the virus and protecting the NHS.”

If the police believe that you have broken the law – or if you refuse to follow their instructions enforcing the law – a police officer may issue you with a fixed penalty notice of £100 (reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days). This is an increase of £40 from the previous £60 fixed penalty amount.

If you have already received a fixed penalty notice, the amount for further offences will increase in line with the table below:

First offence £100
Second offence £200
Third offence £400
Fourth offence £800
Fifth offence £1600
Maximum penalty £3200

If individuals, or companies, do not pay their fine they could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.

Emergency legislation mandates a review on restrictions every three weeks. The next review is due on 18 June 2020.