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Fill in form to report Covid rule breakers, residents told

By Tom Dare | Birmingham | Crime | Published:

Birmingham residents who suspect people of breaking Covid guidelines are being encouraged to fill out a form to report it.

New guidelines came into place in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull today which put a restriction on household mixing. This afternoon Wolverhampton announced similar restrictions but on a voluntary basis, while government guidelines limiting social gatherings to six people came into effect yesterday.

The new guidelines were announced last week in response to the growing number of cases in Birmingham and other parts of the West Midlands, with the rate of infection standing at 71 per 100,00 in the city as of September 11.

Last month Birmingham City Council set up a new Covid whistleblowing hotline for residents to report businesses they felt were not adhering to guidelines, with the number receiving nearly 300 calls in its first week of operation.

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However, the council is encouraging people to get in touch with the police instead if they feel that individual households are breaking the rules, with West Midlands Police having a dedicated webpage and form to be filled in.

“If you encounter individuals breaching the restrictions, you can fill out a reporting breach of restrictions form with West Midlands Police,” an FAQ on the Birmingham City Council website says.

“If you are concerned that a business or venue is not following the Government’s regulations, you can anonymously report them to the council.”

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West Midlands Police’s form urges people to “only tell us about something if you feel there is a significant issue or serious breach of the restrictions".

It adds: “As you’d expect, we have to balance incidents like this with responding to and investigating our usual police demands and crimes.”

The form then gives the option to report either a business that’s not allowed to be open, a gathering of seven or more people in one area, people from more than one household in Birmingham, Sandwell or Solihull meeting in a home or garden or ‘something else’, including reporting people not wearing a face covering.

The form can be found at west-midlands.police.uk/coronavirus/restriction-breach-form

Tom Dare

By Tom Dare

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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