North Yorkshire Police given powers to stop motorists during lockdown

North Yorkshire Police has confirmed it will now be stopping vehicles and asking drivers where they are travelling to during the coronavirus lockdown.

As of today, Thursday, the police will deploy vehicle checkpoints to ensure motorists are complying with Government restrictions and only making essential journeys.

These measures are backed up by legislation allowing the police to fine people and disperse of groups of people who do not comply.

Police now have the powers to stop drivers and ask where they are going during the coronavirus lockdown.

Motorists will be challenged on their need to be on the road following the Government's implementation of significant changes to our way of life, instructing us to stay at home and only go out for basic necessities, a medical need, to care for or help a vulnerable person, or travel to work but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

Officers will be stopping vehicles and asking motorists where they are going, why they are going there, and reminding them of the message to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker, said: “The new and significant restrictions announced by the Prime Minister on Monday evening spell out very clearly what each and every one of us must do to save lives. The message is clear and the warning stark. Stay at home, save lives.

“These are the lives of the people we know and love. Our partners, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, grandparents. You may never be in such a position again where your simple actions will lead directly to saving lives.

“Alongside the new restrictions, the Government announced new powers to enforce them. I know the vast majority of people will follow the restrictions without question, as they have done so already.

“And as the legislation comes into force, the roadside checks will help us to reinforce the messaging. So we ask people not to make non-essential journeys, and to understand the definition of essential. We sincerely hope that we won’t have to resort to enforcement action, but if people do not comply, we will.

“Please continue to look after each other, try and make the most of this unprecedented opportunity to spend more time with your loved ones, and remember we are here for you if you need us.”

The checkpoints will be unannounced and could appear anywhere at any time.

Officers will also be out on foot to disperse groups, enforce the social-distancing measures and remind people of the seriousness of the situation if they do not comply with regulations.