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Patrols in Norwich Road amid reports of people flouting lockdown

PUBLISHED: 08:27 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:11 31 March 2020

Norwich Road in Ipswich. There have been reports of people flouting lockdown rules in the area Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Norwich Road in Ipswich. There have been reports of people flouting lockdown rules in the area Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Action will be taken against anyone found flouting strict measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus, police have warned - after concerns were highlighted about an area of Ipswich.

Residents have raised fears over behaviour in the Norwich Road area of Ipswich amid the covid-19 outbreak.

Strict lockdown measures came into place on March 23 to halt the spread of the virus and all non-essential businesses have been ordered to close by the government.

Restaurants, pubs, wine bars and cafes must close unless they fall into the exception category - but takeaway and delivery services can still operate.

New police powers brought in last week also mean officers may disperse groups of more than two people who do not live with one another. Those who refuse may face a fine.

Despite the new enforced measures, many people have reported large groups of people congregating in Norwich Road.

MORE: Watch police chief’s message to people of Suffolk amid COVID-19 crisis

Suffolk police said regular patrols of Norwich Road are taking place and if necessary, enforcement action will be taken.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “Police patrols in the Norwich Road area of Ipswich took place on a regular basis over the weekend and our engage, explain and encourage approach will continue in that area today and for the foreseeable future.

“If considered necessary, we may take enforcement action if people are not listening and putting others at risk. Officers will apply their discretion and will ask questions to establish individual circumstances.”

Suffolk Trading Standards said it has also received “a high number” of complaints about Suffolk businesses remaining open during the pandemic.

But the organisation urged people to read government guidance before making contact.

Among the businesses in the exceptions list are hardware shops, pet shops, agricultural supplies, corner shops, newsagents and off-licences.

MORE: Impact of coronavirus on businesses in Suffolk ‘universal’ new survey says

A spokesman for trading standards said: “We are currently receiving a high number of complaints about businesses remaining open during the current coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“Please note that not all non-essential businesses have to close. In fact the government has made it clear that it is important for business to carry on.

“Businesses can remain open if they are not on the current list of businesses that must close.

“Please refer to this guidance before contacting us.

“To report a business, call 01473 264859 (option 3) or email tradingstandards@suffolk.gov.uk”


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