Coronavirus: Brent’s enforcement teams helping police to catch those breaking lockdown rules
PUBLISHED: 16:07 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:08 30 March 2020
Brent’s enforcement teams are helping police to catch those breaking coronavirus rules including those out in groups.
Council officers who normally enforce littering, fly-tipping, public space protection orders and highway related offences, have been deployed to help the police enforce the government’s messages about staying home, staying closed and social distancing.
Under new police powers announced on Thursday, people breaking coronavirus lockdown rules can be arrested or fined £60.
The new powers give the authorities the means to ensure people stay at home and avoid non-essential travel.
Officers can now tell people to go home, leave an area or disperse and ensure parents are taking necessary steps to stop their children breaking the rules.
They can issue a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.
The money paid in fines is received by whichever authority’s officers issue the notice – be it the police or the council.
Second time offenders will be fined £120 which will double on each further repeat offence.
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Those who do not pay fines could be taken to a magistrates’ court and face unlimited fines.
And, if a person continues to refuse to comply, police have the power to arrest them.
Councillor Krupa Sheth, Brent Council’s lead member for the environment said: “Our dedicated teams are on the ground helping to spread the message so that we can stop the spread of this pandemic.
“While the majority of us are heeding the message, unfortunately a minority seem to be disregarding the seriousness of this and putting lives at risk.”
She said over the last week enforcement officers conducted patrols to ensure community safety.
They have dispersed groups in parks playing sports and holding picnics and closed off play equipment in parks and green spaces.
They have advised non-essential businesses to close or else face enforcement action.
Residents are reminded to keep to social distancing and they have also delivered food parcels
Under the current rules the government says people must only go outside for food, health reasons or work, but only if you cannot work from home.
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