‘Stay home and help protect the most vulnerable people’

Sue Mountstevens and Andy Marsh.

Sue Mountstevens and Andy Marsh. - Credit: Sub

Police chiefs are working to tackle the coronavirus outbreak across Avon and Somerset.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens and Chief Constable Andy Marsh have urged the public to say at home.

MORE: Seven coronavirus cases diagnosed in North Somerset.

Ms Mountstevens said: “I would urge people to stop wasting time thinking of any reason to believe that the rules don’t apply to you.

“The starting point should be that these rules apply to you and you must follow them.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens. - Credit: Archant

“These new, more stringent, measures announced by the Prime Minister are a clear message to everybody on exactly what we must do to stop the rapid transmission of this virus.

“The chief constable and his frontline officers and staff have the full support of me and my team in the office of the PCC, to ensure they have everything they need to keep communities safe and support our NHS colleagues in the fight against Covid-19.

“It is incumbent upon us to do the right thing to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and lessen the impact of this crisis on our frontline NHS colleagues and police men and women by following these tougher restrictions on our everyday lives until further notice.”

LIVE BLOG: Coronavirus in North Somerset.

People have been urged to only call 999 in an emergency and 101 calls can be reported online instead.

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Mr Marsh added: “These are unprecedented times and a fast-moving situation. I know many people will be anxious and worried so I want to reassure you at this time.

“The most important message I can give is please follow the government’s advice and stay home to save lives.

“This is a health emergency and I can’t say it any more starkly as that. I know our resilient communities in Avon and Somerset will respond and do the right thing, but the message is clear – we must act now to keep our loved ones safe and to protect our NHS.

“We will be enforcing these new measures when new legislation comes in, which will allow us to disperse groups of more than two people. If they don’t disperse, they could face a fine.

“Initially we will be seeking to persuade those not listening to the advice to do the right thing – this will be through talking to people and reasoning with them. I am confident people will listen. This is for all our safety.”