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Coronavirus: PSNI to restore neighbourhood policing after Bank Holiday weekend

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PSNI chief constable Simon Byrne has said his officers will move from "fighting the coronavirus to fighting crime" after the Bank Holiday weekend. 

Speaking at the daily Covid-19 press conference, Mr Byrne appealed to members of the public to "think twice" about their actions this weekend.

He said: “Think twice about whether I really need to do this. And if I can’t convince you, or the first minister or the deputy first minister can't convince you, just think can you go home and look your elderly parents in the eye and say what I did was responsible and was it reasonable?”

He added: “You will see a change in the policing style beyond the bank holiday weekend. We are looking at moving from fighting the virus to fighting crime as we restore neighbourhood policing.

"But we will still be there to follow our four e’s approach, particularly in regards of enforcement when we see large gatherings of people that don’t heed the guidance.”

The chief constable said there will be less police officers conducting road checks across NI this weekend, but that the force will still be visible.

First Minister Arlene Foster also appealed to the public to maintain the guidance this weekend.

“Covid-19 is still lurking, it thrives when people become complacent and it spreads when people become blase about public health advice and it kills when people start acting like the threat is no longer there.”

The pleas come after the latest Department of Health figures showed there have been three further coronavirus deaths in Northern Ireland.

One person died in the 24 hours up to 10am on Friday with two previously unreported. There were 1,405 tests carried out on 1,178 people with 23 returned positive.

Check out our live blog below to see how Friday's coronavirus developments unfolded.

Belfast Telegraph