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Stay safe and secure as lockdown restrictions ease

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England is now in Step Three

Devon & Cornwall Police is ready for the challenge of keeping our communities safe as the next stage of the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown comes into effect today (Monday 17 May).

Step Three of the Government’s Roadmap will see a greater relaxing of the rules put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes the full reopening of the hospitality sector including indoor entertainment and attractions, and remaining outdoor entertainment, including outdoor performances.

Overnight stays are permitted with your household, support bubble, or in groups of two households or up to six people from different households within private homes or in hotels or other accommodation.

Chief Inspector Gareth Twigg said: “Devon & Cornwall Police has been tireless in its efforts to keep people safe and tackle crime, while also taking on the extra policing responsibilities linked to the Coronavirus throughout the last 15 months.

“To highlight the scale of this challenge, between January and May of 2021 we have undertaken almost a thousand COVID car deployments, totalling around 4,500 hours worked by over 1,600 officers; this is in addition to day-to-day policing.

“This has been possible thanks to the surge funding the police received from central Government and has allowed this additional work to be caried out without impacting on investigating crimes and safeguarding the vulnerable.”

While some pubs and restaurants have been open for a few weeks, many have remained closed due to not having the outdoor space needed to make opening viable; police estimate that only around a third of pubs have reopened within Step Two in Devon and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Chief Inspector Twigg added: “With all bars and restaurants now able to reopen, as long as they remain COVID-Secure and continue to operate a table service, we expect a busy time especially within our larger towns and city centres.

“We want to be able to support the reopening of our region’s economy along with partners, but that must be done safely for those living in and visiting our region.

“This means a return to policing the evening and night-time economy which we have done as part of business as usual for many years. In the build-up to Step Three we have worked with licensed premises and closely with those who are part of the Pubwatch scheme to ensure these businesses and their staff are prepared for the influx of customers.

“We are also preparing ourselves for a potential rise in drink-related anti-social behaviour and there will be a police presence in towns and cities across the region to help manage this. We appreciate that people are excited to socialise, but if it leads to anti-social behaviour or domestic violence, then this is entirely unacceptable.”

Officers are also asking the public to better understand the impact of drinking and recreational drug use, and how long intoxicants remain in your system. Despite long-term reductions, drink and drug driving still accounts for 15 per cent of road deaths and almost 10,000 casualties nationally each year.

Chief Inspector Twigg said: “Alcohol and drugs impair many of the functions necessary for safe driving; reaction times and spatial awareness are affected significantly. This may still be the case the morning after, depending on how much alcohol is consumed the night before and how many hours it has been since you stopped drinking.

“It’s not just you that’s at risk. You could kill or seriously injure another person. Drink and drug driving destroy people’s lives and those of their families. Please leave the car at home if you are heading out to drink and ensure that you are safe to be behind the wheel the following day.”

Domestic overnight stays are also permitted following indoor gathering rules, and hotels and other accommodations can reopen.

Chief Inspector Twigg added: “There are no restrictions on how far you can travel within England, therefore we would encourage anyone who visits Devon and Cornwall to be respectful of our communities and continue to follow social distancing measures and the limits around gatherings.”


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