DORSET Police has issued a message to residents as the the government extended the current lockdown, saying now is not the time to get complacent with social distancing measures.
Dorset Police’s Deputy Chief Constable David Lewis and Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill have issued the message to local communities.
DCC David Lewis said: “The government has announced a three-week extension to the lockdown restrictions that are in place nationally to tackle the coronavirus crisis.
“While this extension was entirely expected, it still doesn’t make the impact of these restrictions on our lives any easier.
“Limiting our contact with the outside world including our friends, family and colleagues is a big ask, but it is an essential one.
“By staying at home we are all doing our bit to stop the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
“Now is not the time to become complacent. It is more important than ever that we continue to follow the restrictions and stick together as a community. I understand that none of this is easy and people are feeling worried, anxious and frustrated, but these measures won’t be for long and we need to dig deep and remember why we are being asked to follow the restrictions.
“Tragically, more than 13,000 people have died in the UK from this virus – we owe it to everyone else to do the right thing and stop more families losing loved ones to this terrible disease.
“Please help to save lives and support us in policing the government’s restrictions by staying at home. Only leave for shopping for basic household necessities; one form of exercise a day – alone or with members of your household; any medical need or to provide care to a vulnerable person; or when travelling to and from work – but only where you cannot work from home.
“I would like to reassure you that our officers and staff are briefed to take a common-sense and supportive approach. They will be continuing to carry out daily patrols within communities and on the county’s roads to ensure people are only making essential journeys and are not travelling into Dorset unnecessarily. I am really pleased to see that of the hundreds of people we are speaking to each day the vast majority have a valid reason for travelling or being outside.
“I’d like to end by thanking the people of Dorset for the efforts they have made over the last three weeks to stay at home. It has not gone unnoticed and the empty beaches, beauty spots, parks and high streets across the county demonstrate that the vast majority of people are complying with the rules.
“So thank you and stay safe.”
PCC Martyn Underhill added: “As anticipated, the government has extended the COVID-19 lockdown by three weeks. Although expected, it makes the restrictions we are all abiding by no easier to bear and once again, I would once again like to thank the people of Dorset for the fortitude and resilience they have shown in dealing with the restrictions that have been placed on our daily lives.
“We all know people who are suffering and sadly grieving at this time, so I would ask you all to keep those you know and love in mind, as we begin the next three weeks of lockdown and not to lose focus just when it is needed the most. We must simply, stay at home and save lives.
“I don’t underestimate how difficult life has been over the past three weeks for everyone, but we are all making a difference and we must persevere, we must work together and if we do – we will get through it.”