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David Jamieson, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner said: “On average, West Midlands Police are now seeing around 300 reports each day relating to COVID-19 rule breaches, up from around 200 everyday last week. People need to remember that these rules are in place to prevent the spread of the virus which remains a very real threat and to protect those we care about.

“Our force has been reliant on the 4Es approach – engage, explain, encourage, enforce – with enforcement being a very last resort. Over the coming days, people will find officers moving much quickly to the enforcement stage, issuing fixed penalty notices to those flouting the rules.

“There will be high profile police patrols and officers will have a bias towards enforcement, especially in places such as public transport.

“In addition to the use of fixed penalty notices, our officers will continue to work with local licensing authorities to ensure that premises are following the rules as well. Two premises in Birmingham have had their licences suspended in recent days and West Midlands Police has now issued its first £10,000 fine to a hotel manager in Solihull where they were found to be hosting a gathering of more than 200 people.

“I have also been calling on government to simplify regulations to allow for the public to more easily understand what restrictions apply in their local area.”

Commenting on funding the PCC added “We have received assurances from government that they will reimburse us for the cost of medical grade PPE for our officers and have received warm words on other expenses. However to be clear, this money will not cover the full cost of COVID-19 to the force.”

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