New restrictions to tackle the spread of coronavirus came into force in Jersey on Monday, meaning people who are not classed as essential workers are only allowed to leave their homes for two hours a day for exercise, to buy food and for medical purposes.
Police officers have been seen around the Island engaging with the public and carrying out spot checks on people who are out.
The force has said there has been a rise in COVID-19-related calls and is now asking Islanders not to contact them if they see someone potentially breaching the rules, insisting that they will be on top of any issues. A statement posted by the police on social media said: ‘The experience from the UK and other jurisdictions is that stay-home restrictions result in a huge increase in calls/messages to police to report people who aren’t quite getting it right.
‘It’s amazing that you all want to do your bit but please rest assured that we are out and about in all parishes engaging with the public and we have our eyes peeled. Please only contact us via phone or FB to report a crime or if you really need our help. In an emergency ring 999. Thank you. #CoronavirusJSY.’
The Island’s police officers have the power to enforce fines after new laws were brought in by the government last week.
The COVID-19 (Screening, assessment and isolation) (Jersey) Regulations 2020 came into force on Saturday, and section five of the law gives officers powers to remove people from public places.
The new legislation also gives authorities the power to enforce self-isolation, testing and screening, and detain those who are potentially infected.
However, the States police chief, Robin Smith, said earlier this week he hoped not to have to use the new laws, but would do so where it was absolutely necessary.