Police issue 'Stay At Home' reminder ahead of sunny Sunday in Northamptonshire

Extra patrols at parks, warning over barbecues as temperatures set to soar

By Kevin Nicholls
Saturday, 4th April 2020, 11:00 am

Police have issued a stern reminder to "stay at home, stay safe and save lives" as weather watchers predict blue skies and sunshine for Northamptonshire's second lockdown weekend.

Temperatures are set to hit 18 °C tomorrow (Sunday April 5) in what the Met Office are calling "T-shirt and barbie" weather.

But barbecues must be strictly family affairs in back gardens and walks in the park are OK as long as it's close to home and part of the daily exercise allowed under the regulations.

Northamptonshire Police have the power to issue fines up to £960 or make arrests if people repeatedly flout the lockdown laws put in force last month.

But they have not issued a single penalty notice and believe the public are responding to their "engage, listen land educate" mantra.

Inspector Scott Little said: "I have been out on patrol this week and I'm pleased to say that the Northamptonshire public are being generally compliant.

"At the start of April lhe weather starts to get better but our advice is that these regulations are still very much in play to protect our NHS and for people's own welfare.

Sunday could be tme to fire up the barbie .. but only for the immediate family

"We're not saying people can't enjoy the nice weather, just do so from your own garden.

Here's what you can and cannot do during the coronavirus lockdown"You can have a barbecue but only for the people that live in your house. If you are invited to a barbecue or party, then take it upon yourself to refuse."

The force is also preparing for an increase in visitors to parks and open spaces as people try to make the most of their allowed daily exercise.

Officers will be out patrolling popular spots and will respond to public reports of gatherings — although police are still pleading DO NOT USE 999 for such calls.

Warning signs about social distancing are up at the county's parks. Photo: Leila Coker

Insp Little added: "Northamptonshire is a large county with lots of beautiful open spaces that people enjoy walking in.

"Our patrols will continue to visit areas with high foot-fall such as shops and parks. We target the areas where more people go because that is where there is more risk of infection.

"The guidance is there on our website and on the government website what constitutes daily exercise and how many people can go out shopping.

"Our message that this is short-term pain for long-term gain and if we can got through to as many people as possible advising them that all this is to limit the effect of the virus on the NHS and the country."

Play areas are closed across the county. Photo: Leila Coker

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