Couple fined after camping in the Staffordshire Moorlands during lockdown



A couple have been fined after camping overnight in the Staffordshire Moorlands – despite people being urged not to travel unnecessarily during the coronavirus lockdown.

Police came across the pair in the Leek area this afternoon (Wednesday April 22).

They told officers they were heading to the Peak District – saying they were only making the journey as a friend they’d wanted to stay with in Harrogate had developed symptoms of Covid-19.

The man had recently flown into the UK from Berlin, Germany,  and he and his partner had travelled to the Moorlands via Harrogate and Wigan on the way to the Peak District.

Staffordshire Police are continuing to urge people to stay away from rural beauty spots including the Roaches – with people from areas including London and Nottinghamshire found in the Staffordshire Moorlands over the past week.

Chief Inspector Mark Thorley, of the Staffordshire Moorlands Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Our message and guidance has been clear throughout this lockdown. We are urging people to stay at home and save lives and when taking part in their daily exercise to do so close to home.

“When we do have to leave the home we need to continue to ensure that what we are doing is necessary and reasonable. Now is not the time for people to be travelling unnecessarily into our rural communities and to our beauty spots for dog walking, exercise, camping or picnics.

“I am pleased that the majority of people understand this but – for those making journeys from far and wide to places like the Moorlands – we will continue to use the discretion and good judgement of our officers in deciding whether or not your journey is considered “reasonable” or not. Our advice has been there for all to see throughout this lockdown and we will carry out enforcement action and issue fines if deemed necessary.

“Our beauty spots and rural areas will be here when this is over – let’s make sure we stick together and do what is necessary so we can get back to normal as soon as possible.”

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