Efforts continue across the county to prevent the spread of coronavirus
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Surrey Police has been continuing to urge members of the public to stay indoors to help slow the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Officers have responded to reports in the county of people continuing to ignore government restrictions to not gather in groups. To protect the NHS and save lives, the public are advised they should only leave the house for limited purposes and stay local to avoid non-essential travel. Although the vast majority of the public are adhering to this, officers have had to engage with some today who still continue to flout restrictions.
In Walton-on-Thames, Surrey Police deployed a ‘sky talk’ drone to break up a group of 30 people not abiding to social distancing regulations this morning (Friday, 10 April). This method of communicating without physically putting officers at additional risk by approaching them was effective and the group left without officers having to take further action. The use of a drone has been used by Surrey Police and Sussex Police since the introduction of the new legislation.
If required, the drone will direct large groups of people congregating in outdoor spaces to leave the area by playing a pre-recorded message of “Attention this a Police message. You are gathering in breach of government guidelines to stay at home in response to the coronavirus. You are putting lives at risk. Please disperse immediately and return home.” The use of the drone makes it quicker to access groups of people while encouraging them to do the right thing.
Surrey Police was called to Box Hill, a popular Surrey beauty spot, after receiving reports of a number of cyclists ignoring road closures and social distancing restrictions. Officers intervened with riders cycling along the Zig Zag Road before re-establishing road closures.
We would like to remind the public to respect road closures and not to drive or cycle to Box Hill for their daily exercise.
Superintendent Graham Barnett said “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the majority of the public who have been sticking to the Government guidelines by staying local and observing social distancing.
“While Surrey Police understands that the nice weather makes staying indoors difficult, by doing so you are helping to slow the spread of coronavirus, ensuring the National Health Service maintains its capacity to treat the most vulnerable people in our communities, and ultimately save lives.
“Easter is traditionally a time for families and people coming together. This year it is more significant than ever. Embrace this opportunity to bring something positive from this unprecedented situation. We ask you to stay at home and protect the NHS to save lives.”
A full list of frequently asked questions around coronavirus can be found on the Government’s website here.