PEOPLE have been warned by the police to ‘stay local’ when carrying out their daily session of exercise.
Ch Supt Tom Harding from West Mercia Police said a number of people had been using vehicles to travel to open spaces to exercise.
“Whilst we appreciate the importance of exercise and the positive impact on mental and physical health during this difficult time, the Government have made it clear that people should ‘stay local’ and walk, cycle or run from their own home rather than travelling.
“This week we have seen a number of people using their vehicles to travel to open spaces to exercise.
“Many people are inadvertently creating crowds by driving to popular locations to go and exercise therefore not achieving the necessary social distancing.
“We understand that it may be tempting to drive out to somewhere beautiful but we urge people to stay local or stay at home.”
Police have praised people in the past couple of days for the way they have been staying at home and usually busy town and village centres have been quiet.
But yesterday the Fairfield Community Village Association ‘despite national requests, families and dog walkers were still driving to Pepperwood to exercise’.
On Wednesday the Hagley and Rubery Safer Neighbourhood Team said they had to speak to residents at the Clent Hills, Lickey Hills and Waseley Hills as the areas were becoming too crowded and having a negative impact on people’s ability to socially distance themselves.
On Friday police were deployed to the Clent Hills following reports of multiple vehicles including some having picnics.
Last night officers from Bromsgrove Safer Neighbourhood Team were out with Hagley and Rubery SNT patrolling around the Clent Hills educating the public because there were still some not adhering to the rules.
PCSO HYDER: Currently out on patrol assisting @HagRuberyCops up the Clent Hills. Educating and dispersing groups of people not social distancing. Social distancing can help save lives – both yours & others! @WestMerciaNW @WMerciaPolice @WestMerciaPCC @HagRuberyCops @B31Voices pic.twitter.com/1GdbhcrgqY
— AlvechurchWythallSNT (@AlveWythallCops) March 27, 2020
Ch Supt Harding added: “Please don’t be surprised in the current circumstances for officers to ask some motorists whether they have a valid reason for being on the roads.
“We will take enforcement action if required, but only if it is necessary and proportionate.
“As the situation progresses, we are continuing to work with our communities – engaging, explaining and encouraging the public to stay at home and we are largely encouraged by the response.
“We must all play our part in helping to minimise the spread of the virus, take pressure off the NHS and ultimately save lives.”
He added: “Similarly officers will be in our communities on foot providing visible reassurance and engaging with the public, we always appreciate a smile and a chat, although now observing social distancing.
“We may ask questions to establish individual circumstances as to why people are out and we will request that people go home if they do not have a good reason to be out and about. We will be dispersing any gatherings of more than two people.
“These are unusual and exceptional circumstances, and we appreciate this is a step away from the normal freedoms we are all used to.
“But we must all play our part at keeping our communities safe, particularly the most vulnerable and those most at risk.
“Please work with us #StayHomeSaveLives.”