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PCC urges neighbours to report nearby house parties

Residents should contact the police if they suspect their neighbours of hosting a party during the coronavirus pandemic, the Police and Crime Commissioner has said.

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West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson

Speaking after Derbyshire Police were called to a house over the weekend said to be hosting a 25-person get-together, PCC David Jamieson said it is important not to go round to the house of a person you suspect of breaking social distancing rules.

Instead, the police boss said, residents should contact police via online chat or, if completely necessary, by calling 101.

It comes as the West Midlands Chief Constable dismissed suggestions the UK is becoming a "police state" as "widely off the mark".

The UK is currently in its second week of a nationwide lockdown, announced last week by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the country attempts to turn the tide on Covid-19.

People have been encouraged to stay home, only leave their house for essentials such as food, medicine and exercise, and not to meet up with people outside their own household.

Most of the country seems to be adhering to the advice, with use of public transport down 86 per cent since the measures were introduced.

However, events over the weekend show some areas of the country are taking the lockdown a lot more seriously than others.

And Mr Jamieson said it is up to the police, not individual citizens, to deal with such incidents.

“It is important to say that the overwhelming majority of people are considerate, sensible and are following the rules,” he said.

“If you think your neighbours are having a get together, do not go round to their house, as you risk breaking socially distancing rules yourself.

“Instead contact police, preferably on live chat via West Midlands Police’s website, or if not possible call 101.

“The police will then respond appropriately. During these difficult times please trust them to make the right judgement.

“Police, where they encounter people breaking the rules, will explain and engage to explain why they are important. In the overwhelming majority of cases that is having the desired impact.

“People should be aware of their new powers and be aware that they are prepared to enforce if people continue to not comply.”