‘This isn’t scare mongering’ - Police chief urges public to listen to coronavirus advice
PUBLISHED: 05:30 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 07:51 23 March 2020
LAUREN DE BOISE
Suffolk’s chief constable has said people in the county must follow government guidelines on staying indoors and social distancing.
Popular outdoor spots and seaside towns across Suffolk were still busy with those eager to enjoy the weekend’s sunny weather, despite advice suggesting people should stay inside for all but essential activities amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Suffolk Chief Constable Steve Jupp said people should think carefully about the advice given by the government to avoid further sanctions being put in place.
He said: “With bars and restaurants closing, we saw a lot of people head to the coast or to parks instead.
“That isn’t the message. Social distancing should be used on occasions when people must leave the house.
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“I know it will be difficult but people must try and stay at home and use social distancing when they have to.
“We do not want to see patients in beds in hospital corridors or temporary mortuaries built in Suffolk. But that is what will happen if the guideline aren’t adhered to.
“It isn’t scare mongering to say this, it’s science and evidence.
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“If you look over to Spain and to Italy they have enforced much more draconian measures but we don’t want to do that here because it will draw resources away from our usual blue light activities.
“But, it might get to a point at which the government will have to bring in those sort of draconian measures.
“There are vulnerable people in our community which we need to protect.”
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Chief constable Jupp hopes that further measures will not need to be enforced so that his officers can continue carrying out their vital day to day work in the police.
If the country is put in total lockdown, manpower may need to be pulled out of some sectors.
The government is hoping to pass a bill on Monday to allow the police to enforce their closure orders of pubs and bars though and even prosecute those who do not comply.
Chief constable Jupp added: “We of course want to work with people across the county to ensure that we can reach agreements before we use the powers given to us.
“I’d like to tank everyone who is working to keep those in the community safe not only blue lights workers, but NHS staff and many others as well.”
Boris Johnson said today Government was ready to impose tougher restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus if people do not follow the guidance on social distancing.
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