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Coronavirus: Police face challenges enforcing 'ambiguous' rules

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  • Coronavirus pandemic
image captionCouncil leaders have written to the government with their concerns over policing the new lockdown

Police in Cheshire are finding it difficult to enforce lockdown rules because the guidance is too ambiguous, council leaders have warned.

In a joint letter to the government, Cheshire council bosses said the rules had left many areas of "uncertainty".

The leaders called for more clarity on areas including mask wearing, travel to beauty spots and click and collect.

It comes as police forces have been under mounting pressure to enforce the coronavirus lockdown laws.

Leaders of Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington and Halton councils have written to the Health Secretary and the Secretary of State for Housing and Local Government about their concerns.

In the letter, which was also signed by the county's police and crime commissioner and the chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership, they warned "regulations have left too many areas of social and economic interaction subject to uncertainty".

"Last Spring there was widespread public compliance with a simple and effective message," it continued.

"In contrast this time, the clarity of the 'stay at home' message is undermined by ambiguity between regulations and guidelines."

This was making public compliance more difficult, and creating "challenges for our enforcement authorities," the letter said.

The leaders said they "would support additional national measures that tighten these areas further to be implemented alongside further financial support for businesses and their employees, and the self employed".

England is currently under a third national lockdown, meaning people must stay at home and can go out only for limited reasons such as food shopping, exercise, or work if they cannot do so from home.

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