Police say people are continuing to drive to North Staffordshire beauty spots – despite being asked to stay away due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Yesterday police in the county asked people to avoid visiting places including the Roaches in the Staffordshire Moorlands while limits on movement are in place to stem the tide of the coronavirus pandemic.
Today however police say they have had a group on Nottingham in the Roaches – with other groups also visiting the site with people from outside their household.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “Driven from Nottingham to Leek for a walk? Really?
“Groups of young lads out for a bike ride, not from the same family or house. Come on folks. Please start following the rules, it’s for the good of everyone.”
Earlier police in the Moorlands said: “Still people driving into our rural beauty spots to walk the dog, some of our rural areas have more people visiting then in our town centre. Please exercise local to your home addresses and minimise time away from your home.”
Staffordshire Moorlands Chief Constable Mark Thorley took to social media network Twitter to again urge people to stay at home.
He said: “Folks I get this is difficult and new but I am losing patience with “well we’ve been in the house for days”. This is the start and you are only being asked to stay at home not go to war. Think of others and not just yourself.”
Across the border in Derbyshire police are also urging people not to drive to the Peak District for walks.
Today Derbyshire Police said: “Despite posts yesterday highlighting issues of people still visiting the Peak District despite government guidance, the message is still not getting through.
“Cars were parked in both the car park and on the hill up to it. A bag of stones that was at the entrance as a roadblock had been pulled to the side to allow cars to enter.
“Plenty of people were walking, many of which had parked up in cars before heading out for their walk.
“Some number plates were coming back to keepers in Sheffield, so we know that people are travelling to visit these areas.
“Daily exercise should be taken locally to your home. Under government guidance, all travel is limited to essential travel only.”
Under the current restrictions – introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday – people are only allowed to leave their homes for essential shopping, work (if they can’t work from home), for medical assistance/to care for the vulnerable or for one bout of exercise a day, which should be taken close to home.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has today warned those that refuse to comply with the new restrictions may face arrest as police officers were given the power to issue fixed penalty notices to those caught violating the restrictions.
In a blog post today Staffordshire Police Chief Constable Gareth Morgan said police would be working with people to ensure they understood the importance of the current restrictions.
He added: “And I want to be clear – with those who refuse to comply we will be enforcing not asking.
“The stakes are too high and we’ll be too busy to invest disproportionate time persuading pubs that decide to have a ‘lock in’ to do the right thing or on people who decide to congregate in a misguided community event.”
For more live COVID-19 updates throughout today (Thursday March 26) visit our live feed here.
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