CORONAVIRUS: A new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of town

A new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of townA new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of town
A new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of town | jpimedia
The introduction of emergency measures by the Prime Minister last week has meant a change in everybody’s way of life as homes and families are on virtual lockdown.

The police have been tasked with the responsibility of ensuring people comply with the rules and stay at home other then for specific essential reasons.

Officers in Boston have moved to try and reassure the public in the face of these frightening changes, tweeting every hour last Friday as a way of staying in touch with the public.

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And Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Bill Skelly stressed that officers will only use enforcement action as a ‘last resort’.

A new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of townA new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of town
A new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of town | jpimedia

He said police officers have been given new powers to enforce government legislation - but that officers will only use the powers as a ‘last resort’.

In Boston, most people seem to have been obeying the stay at home ruling, although there have been reports of sporadic incidents of people gathering together.

There have also been some reports of abuse of retail staff, including one worker claiming she was spat at after asking a customer to respect social distancing.

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ACC Kerrin Wilson, who is leading on the force’s response to Covid-19, said: “I have personally seen that the vast majority of residents are following the instructions. Thank you for this and for supporting our truly amazing public health service.

A new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of townA new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of town
A new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of town | other

“However I did come across a small number that were not. If people continue to go about their lives and ignore the national pandemic, they are putting not only themselves at risk, but also those around them.”

Boston Police said on Friday: “We understand it is stressful and worrying being indoors, fearing what may be happening outside. We'll be tweeting hourly from the streets today.”

One of the first things they tweeted was an idea by town centre beat manager PC Newell. his idea to tape off benches to stop people using them, which was backed by Boston Borough Council.

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Officers patrolled a number of areas of open spaces around the borough and said most people were abiding by the rules and maintaining social distance.

A new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of townA new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of town
A new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of town | jpimedia

But officers did have to act to disperse a group who had gathered together in the Market Place, and moved on some youths on the town’s model boating lake.

And there have also been reports of abuse when people are asked to obey guidelines, with one market trader saying they had a lady shouting and swearing at them because they were operating on a limited customer basis, until a plain-clothes police officer stepped in.

ACC Wilson visited town centres and market places including Boston at the weekend to see how communities have responded to the government’s social distancing instructions.

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She said: “We are approaching this by speaking with our communities and making sure that people are helping to keep themselves and others safe.

A new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of townA new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of town
A new reality in Boston as police patrol quiet streets of town | jpimedia

“We don’t want to have to issue any fines or make arrests – we will only do this when there is no other option.

“We won’t be setting up road-blocks and stopping people in their vehicles unless there is a clear policing reason for us to do so – we are trusting our communities to follow the national advice and only make essential journeys.”

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