Preston residents warned by police to ‘stay vigilant’ following the lifting of lockdown restrictions

Posted on - 20th July, 2021 - 11:58am | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Fylde News, Lancashire Police, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
Walking through Preston city centre with face masks on Pic: Paul Melling
Walking through Preston city centre with face masks on Pic: Paul Melling

Lancashire police are expecting a rise in crime following the easing of lockdown restrictions.


They urged Preston residents to stay vigilant, reporting emergencies through 999, as they expect an increase in crime over the coming months.

In a recent Q and A, Lancashire Constabulary said overall crime is lower than in 2019, but demand on the police remains significant.

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They also offered guidance on what to expect from the police now that masks are no longer compulsory.

Lancashire Constabulary said they expect retailers to manage entry into their stores and comply with their own individual requirements while customers are inside.

The government has recommended that the public wear a mask when in crowded and enclosed spaces where they come into contact with people they do not normally meet. The police cannot legally enforce this as it is guidance and no longer part of the regulations.

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The police will only get involved if they are called to deal with a disturbance, such as someone not complying and using abusive or threatening behaviour. They also said offences relating to self-isolation do not include the NHS Test and Trace app, where notifications are received.

When asked if the police have absence issues due to the NHS Test and Trace app sending notifications to officers, Lancashire Constabulary said the current national absence level is 6.5 per cent. They said it is ‘well below’ any figure of concern, and all forces remain in the green.

After consulting with staff unions and the Police Federation, the National Police Chiefs’ Council has written to all police forces to advise that the existing infection control measures should still be in place. Police officers and staff will continue to wear masks and PPE beyond 19 July.

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When asked how officers will know if a person is fully vaccinated and does not need to self-isolate after returning from an Amber or Red list country, Lancashire Constabulary said the government’s private security contractor will still receive referrals from DHSC. They will filter out those fully vaccinated and refer cases to the police, where they believe a breach has occurred.

It might mean a reduction in overall referrals, but the process itself will not change.

The police’s efforts will shift towards day-to-day policing to prevent and tackle crime and keep communities safe. They said they believe this is what the public will want to see and expect from them.

Lancashire Constabulary said the public should be reassured that all forces have robust plans in place to deal with any upturn in crime, including violence, and will clamp down on violent offenders.

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