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Police – Adherence to coronavirus restrictions in NI slipping

Traffic numbers have been increasing week on week for the last five weeks, assistant chief constable Alan Todd said.

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Adherence to coronavirus restrictions has slipped over recent weeks, senior police commander in Northern Ireland Alan Todd said (David Young/PA)

Adherence to coronavirus restrictions has slipped over recent weeks, senior police commander in Northern Ireland Alan Todd said (David Young/PA)

Adherence to coronavirus restrictions has slipped over recent weeks, senior police commander in Northern Ireland Alan Todd said (David Young/PA)

Adherence to coronavirus restrictions has slipped over recent weeks, a senior police commander in Northern Ireland said.

Traffic numbers have been increasing week on week for the last five weeks, assistant chief constable Alan Todd said.

He is warning against complacency this bank holiday weekend celebrating VE Day, and said outdoor parties involving drink could see social distancing rules flouted.

He said: “There is a significant sense, there is not too much argument, that that has slipped.

“We can see from the traffic numbers on the roads that there has been a week-on-week increase for the last five weeks.

“The number of journeys by private vehicles is increasing.”

He added: “You can see from the other open source material that more people are travelling more often to more places and that is not all work or shop-related.”

He said the discipline of going out to shop once or twice a week has been to some extent lost and good weather was predicted this bank holiday weekend.

“There is concern the temptation creeps into people’s lives,” he added.

Mr Todd said his officers were acting on behalf of Stormont ministers and enforcing the regulations.

He reiterated his call for other agencies to take on designated responsibilities relating to particular areas like reopened businesses.

Adjudging whether certain firms should be open could be the responsibility of others.

If local councils reopen parks then park rangers could help reinforce the restrictions, the senior officer added.

He said: “It is not normal policing.

“We are sub-contracted, trying to protect the health service and are designated to do that on their behalf.

“It is not the standard policing where people are breaking the law.”

PA