"We will continue to engage with the public about the restrictions; however, we are committed to taking appropriate action where necessary to protect our communities"Chief Inspector Steve Wykes of Northumbria Police
Since November 5, when England entered a second national lockdown in order to mitigate the second wave of COVID-19, the Newcastle City Council has received more than 80 complaints from concerned residents leading to more than 120 inspections being carried out across the city.
The government has returned to its message of “stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives” with similar restrictions put in place to the ones in the first lockdown in March. As a result, non-essential services and businesses have been forced to close, including pubs and restaurants, leisure centres, cinemas and hairdressers. Businesses who ignore the measures after being ordered to shut risk being fined up to £10,000.
In spite of this, up and down the country, scores of non-essential shops have been flouting the rules, including some in Newcastle and the surrounding area.
The Council said complaints have focused on businesses in popular shopping areas such as West Road and Adelaide Terrace in Newcastle’s West End, Shields Road in Byker and Chillingham Road in Heaton.
It is understood that 10 businesses in the city which had wrongly continued trading during lockdown have now been advised to close, including a vape store, a mobile phone shop, a jewellers and a car wash.
Councillor Irim Ali, the city council’s cabinet member for neighbourhood and public health, said: “I appreciate the impact lockdown is having on businesses, but we must stop the spread of the virus and the law fundamentally must be obeyed.
"The vast majority of businesses are following the rules, but some are not, either through ignorance or wilful defiance. Neither is a defence, so I urge businesses to comply as our officers are visiting premises all over the city.
"Each and every one of us has a responsibility to follow the rules and protect each other. That is the only way we will drive down the infection rates."
Elsewhere, Chief Inspector Steve Wykes of Northumbria Police, said, "We will continue to engage with the public about the restrictions; however, we are committed to taking appropriate action where necessary to protect our communities"
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