Police go door-to-door amid sharp rise in Whitby covid-19 cases, with fines dished out

Police have been going door-to-door in a North Yorkshire area to warn people of rising coronavirus numbers.

The local policing teams hit the streets after weekly rates showed the number of cases in the Scarborough borough – including tourist hotspots like Whitby and Filey – had increased from 402 to 526 per 100,000 of the population.

The England average currently stands at 270 cases per 100,000.

Over the past week, the force has issued 45 fixed penalty notices across North Yorkshire to people breaching lockdown rules.

And of those, 40 were in the Whitby, Filey and Scarborough area.

The officers joined Scarborough Borough Council’s community safety team, delivering a covid-19 alert leaflet urging residents to stay at home.

Superintendent Mike Walker, lead for North Yorkshire Police’s covid response said: “Since day one of this pandemic, we have said we will do everything we can to keep our communities safe and this activity, literally going door-to-door, shows our commitment to that task.

“We have also said that we will engage with and encourage members of the public to abide by the regulations, but if they refuse to do so, we will take enforcement action.”

Of the fixed penalty notices issued, 20 were given to those outside of their homes without a reasonable excuse, 16 to people gathering outside and four to people gathering indoors.

North Yorkshire police will stop cars to ensure people do not try and visit local beauty spots during coronavirus lockdown

North Yorkshire Police stop cars to ensure people do not try and visit local beauty spots during coronavirus lockdown in March
(Image: Philip Sedgwick)

Supt Walker continued: “Let me be clear – this is a very serious situation.

“If we do not take some serious action straight away, this situation is only going to get worse. More people will die of this virus and the lock down may need to be extended or restrictions become even tighter, to curb the impact.”

He added: “Please consider every journey you make. Every time you approach your front door – ask yourself if this a necessary journey you are making?

“Do you have to leave the house for food or medical reasons, to care for someone or go to work or school?

“If you do not – then please stay home. Take action now to protect yourself, your family, your neighbours, your community and your health service.”