Police defend South Shields families for 'sticking to the rules' during lockdown

Families in South Shields have been ‘sticking to the rules’ since the start of the coronavirus lockdown.
The beach in South Shields in JuneThe beach in South Shields in June
The beach in South Shields in June

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen dozens of rules and regulations introduced in an attempt to limit the spread of the disease.

And according to Northumbria Police, many in the town have done their best to stick to the new guidelines, with complaints of social distancing breaches often found to be misunderstandings.

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“Most of our COVID related incidents are people sending messages to say people are having too many people in the house or in the garden,” said Pc Jo Pepper.

“The majority of these are just family members who are social distancing and there haven’t been any major incidents or issues.

“Sunderland has seen a bigger rise, but we haven’t had as much here in South Tyneside.”

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She added: “From a policing point of view people in South Tyneside generally seem to be sticking to the rules.”

PC Pepper was speaking at a meeting of South Tyneside Council’s Riverside Community Area Forum (CAF) for South Shields, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.

Cllr Angela Hamilton said the officer’s report indicated to the panel there was not ‘anything serious’ to worry about, in relation to the rules.

Pc Pepper added overall crime levels in the area covered by the Riverside CAF, which includes the Westoe, West Park and Simonside areas of South Shields, had fallen by about 14%.

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We reported in June how antisocial behaviour – which now covers unlawful gatherings such as house parties or gangs congregating outdoors – was responsible for nearly half of all incidents logged across South Tyneside.

The 918 reports about antisocial behaviour compared to 392 the previous month and 373 in April 2019.

Northumbria Police said at the time the figures must be viewed ‘in context’ and a significant proportion of incidents of antisocial refered to suspected breaches of Covid-19 regulations reported by members of the public.

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