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Lockdown compliance levels revealed

Lockdown compliance levels revealed

Tuesday 30 June 2020

Lockdown compliance levels revealed


Five people were recommended for prosecution after breaching lockdown regulations during the covid-19 pandemic, while 59 in total were given "formal words of advice".

Deputy Jennifer Merrett wanted more details about the way the lockdown regulations were enforced so she wrote a series of formal questions addressed to the President of Home Affairs.

Under 'Rule 14', Deputy Mary Lowe had to reply in writing, which she did - with the answers posted on the States website.

Those answers showed that five people were recommended for prosecution, which has been clarified by a Spokesman for  Bailiwick Law Enforcement. 

“Of the five reported for prosecution, two were given words of advice, two are currently under consideration for prosecution and one has been prosecuted.”

Jennifer Merrett

Pictured: Deputy Jennifer Merrett submitted Rule 14 questions to find out more information about compliance levels. 

There have been repeated rumours throughout the covid-crisis about people not complying with lockdown regulations, or not isolating as directed to. 

Deputy Gavin St Pier called a rumour about a recent positive test "garbage" and told people not to believe everything they read on social media.

In response to Deputy Merrett's questions, Deputy Mary Lowe, the Home Affairs President, said Bailiwick Law Enforcement found high levels of engagement among the public with "the majority of public interacting" regarding the pandemic involving "informal guidance being provided by officers".

That informal guidance was not recorded by officers in the majority of cases as it was not deemed necessary.

Deputy Lowe said Bailiwick Law Enforcement had found success with a more relaxed handling of the pandemic.

"Some statistics on formal Law Enforcement activity have been collected in relation to community compliance with emergency powers," she said. "In line with National Police Chiefs Council guidance, together with the guidance provided by HM Procureur concerning proportionality and necessity, the Head of Law Enforcement instructed officers across BLE to adopt the ‘4 E’s strategy’ which is to: Engage, Educate, Encourage and Enforce.

"Using these principles, enforcement action is the final option. The majority of actions, focusing on the first three of the four E’s appears to have been the appropriate strategy. The majority of public interaction has involved informal guidance being provided by officers – which has not been recorded."

Mary Lowe

Pictured: Deputy Mary Lowe.

Deputy Lowe also confirmed the two most high profile cases as a result of the lockdown measures were reported by local media.

"Following the first set of emergency powers, there was a high profile licensing matter where a premises failed to comply with the emergency powers. This case went to court and resulted in the conviction of an individual.

"In addition on 4 June 2020 a case was heard before the Magistrates Court for breaching isolation regulations.

"Throughout the period where the emergency powers have been in place, a number of investigations have been carried out on potential breaches and words of advice and final warnings have been issued to a number of individuals."

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The gentleman fined on 4 June for breaching isolation was the only case, by that date, where Law Enforcement had to detain an individual for "persistent breaches" of a 14-day isolation notice.

Deputy Lowe also confirmed that neither Guernsey Police nor Guernsey Border Agency had to detain anyone under the age of 18 because they were breaching lockdown regulations or isolation rules.

She said officers had instead "given words of advice to parents and young people as well as elderly persons required to shield but have not used emergency powers in this way".

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