WEST Mercia Police chief constable Antony Bangham says that he is confident that communities will continue to take sensible steps to keep themselves safe during the Covid-19 restrictions.

But he says the force is prepared to take enforcement action where ‘absolutely necessary’- when there are clear breaches of the Government restrictions, predominantly to prevent people gathering in large groups.

In a statement Mr Bangham said: “We appreciate the support that the communities across West Mercia have shown during the Covid-19 lockdown, with most people abiding by the guidance and staying at home to minimise the spread of infection, requiring us to take very minimal enforcement action.

“Now we are able to spend more time outdoors, there is opportunity to see friends and family on a one to one basis. Each of us needs to take responsibility for doing so sensibly, safely and within the parameters set out by the Government.”

The easing of restrictions means that people can now travel to beauty spots to take part in exercise.

Mr Bangham has urged residents to be sensible when visiting potentially busy places.

He said: “We are fortunate to have some beautiful places within our counties, and many people will be glad they now have the option to make the most of them over the coming weeks. If you travel somewhere and it’s busy, please be sensible and go elsewhere or return at a different time. Keep in mind the purpose of the regulations and the ongoing national effort to protect the NHS and save lives.

“In West Mercia we police the borders with Wales, where the legislation and guidance differ to those in England. We are aware of the challenges and sensitivities this will create, and we are working with our Welsh colleagues to provide clarity and support those affected.”