Shock details are emerging about visitors who continue to drive long distances to Keswick and the north Lakes in defiance of new lockdown legislation.
Cumbria Police have issued a string of examples of people who have been issued with fixed penalty notices for breaching the Government’s “stay at home” instruction.
A man in his 30s from Manchester was spoken to in Penrith Road, Keswick, and was found to have planned a 200-mile round trip for a walk of 20-25 minutes. He was advised this could not be construed as reasonable grounds for breaching the restrictions.
That was on Wednesday last week, three days after three men in their 20s from London were spotted camping in the Carrock Beck/Carrock Fell area of the north Lakes. The trio, who had a tent and other camping equipment, told officers they had travelled to Cumbria after visiting friends in Liverpool. They gave no reason for their journey other than pleasure.
Cumbria Police have so far issued 107 fixed penalty notices up to Monday this week (27th April). Chief constable Michelle Skeer thanked the vast majority of the public for continuing to make sacrifices, including staying at home, to protect the NHS and save lives by stopping the spread of coronavirus.
She urged people to carry on following the Government guidance, saying: “I appreciate that everyone is making sacrifices at the moment by staying at home and many of us are keen to get back to ‘normal’ and visit family, friends, or even visit the parks and beauty spots where we live. However, these restrictions are working and we need to keep going and ensure we don’t undo the last few weeks by ignoring the restrictions.
“My officers on the ground will continue to use fixed penalty notices only when engaging, explaining and encouraging have failed. Officers though are finding this engagement is becoming more challenging at times as they do their job in protecting communities, which has resulted in a rise in the number of fixed penalty notices being issued.”
On the same day as the Caldbeck camping trio received their fixed penalty notices, one was also issued to a man in his 30s from Glasgow, who was stopped on the A686 near Penrith at 11am after driving from Glasgow to confront someone about a purchase made over Facebook.
The chief constable added: “This week we have also seen people convicted at court in Cumbria of attacking emergency service workers, including police officers, by spitting at them. This is completely unacceptable. Emergency service workers cannot stay home. They are working in the community to help keep us all safe and we should all respect them.
“I know our officers have the support of the public but I would encourage everyone to think about the person – not just the uniform – when engaging with police officers. The support of the public means a great deal to all emergency service personnel who are working every day in challenging conditions.”