POLICE and local authority leaders are urging people to play their part in protecting themselves and others as figures show the biggest increase in Covid-19 cases in Stoke-on-Trent to date.
The renewed appeal comes as Stoke-on-Trent City Council were notified there were 302 new cases of coronavirus yesterday – the largest increase so far in the whole of 2020. Today, the rate per 100,000 of the population has exceeded 500 for the first time and is 504.3 per 100,000.
Officers have given £200 Fixed Penalty Notices to a further 12 people for gathering with people from other households.
Four men, two aged 28, one aged, 29 and one aged 39, who were eating takeaway food at tables inside a closed coffee shop in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, each received a fine.
Eight people - five men, aged between 26 and 47, and three women, aged between 21 and 39 – were fined following a house party in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent.
Public protection officers from Stoke-on-Trent City Council are continuing to take action to ensure compliance across the city. It includes visits to businesses, responding to complaints and taking action on non-compliance issues where retail or licenced premises have been opening illegally during lock-down. It includes the example of one card shop in the city claiming that they were essential by offering toilet rolls for sale. It follows a number of community protection warnings being issued by the council in September to a number of barber shops and other premises found to be flouting the rules.
Chief Inspector Rob Hessell, of the Stoke South Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “People in Stoke-on-Trent have made enormous sacrifices during the response to this virus and we will continue to target those who continually flout the rules. It isn’t fair, and all of those who have tried hard to stop the spread of the virus rightly expect us to do something.
“The majority of the public continue to comply with the rules and appreciate the risk that Covid-19 poses. By working together with local authorities, those who continue to break the rules can expect to have their illegal gatherings dispersed and face the consequences of fines.”
Cllr Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “Cases are increasing at an alarming rate and we have a very short window to try and drive down COVID-19 spread within Stoke-on-Trent. We need everyone to play their part in tackling the virus – for the good of the economy, our loved ones and for the city. This means people doing the right thing and adhering to the public health guidance. It’s simply not acceptable to not follow the rules and we want to make clear to the small minority that don’t that there are consequences.
“As always, some of our best evidence and information comes from members of the public so we’d urge those who see others not doing what they should, let us or the police know so we can take action. The sooner we curb the spread, the better it will be for us all.”
Residents can report concerns or complaints they have to firstname.lastname@example.org.