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Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

The Met continues to urges Londoners to take personal responsibility to protect lives as the city is set to enter tough new restrictions.

The new restrictions begin on Wednesday 16 December at 00.01am. This will primarily affect London’s hospitality sector, which will have to close.

Officers across the capital will work with local authority colleagues, who have lead responsibility for ensuring these premises adhere to the changes in the regulations.

Likewise, additional resources will be deployed at areas of traditionally high footfall such as high streets and shopping centres to provide a visible policing presence and to prevent disorder and anti-social behaviour.

The Met will also continue its focus on large gatherings that remain prohibited or strictly limited in size under the regulations. Officers are also targeting officers at those areas with the highest reported infection rates where they will respond to reports of serious regulation breaches.

Officers are now able to report people for fines more easily and quickly using a new digital facility, launched last week, on their mobile devices. This helps guide them through the process and saves substantial amounts of time which will allow them to issue fines and quickly move onto further enforcement activity.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, the Met’s lead for Covid-19 operations, said: “The move to these tougher restrictions so close to the Christmas break will be a serious blow to many in our city – but there is little doubt it is necessary.

“The rapid increase in infection rates shows that not everyone is being as careful as they need to be. This isn’t just about sticking to the regulations, important though that is, it is about taking all the precautions we can in every aspect of our lives. The more contact we have, the higher the chance of catching or spreading the virus.

“Londoners’ actions over the coming days and weeks will have very serious consequences and it is clear a lot of us need to change our behaviour now to stop people dying who could have otherwise lived.

“Disappointingly we have continued to see a small minority of selfish people holding parties, large weddings, unlicensed music events or poorly managed protests in recent days and weeks and although these events are not the only reason for the increase in infections, they are undoubtedly contributing to the problem.

“So while we will continue to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the rules, we make no apology for using our enforcement powers where people refuse or where we encounter deliberate, dangerous or flagrant breaches of the regulations. People should be aware that the new digital fine system makes getting a fine increasingly likely.

“We will not the allow irresponsible actions of a selfish few to jeopardise the safety of others, but at the same time we urge everyone to ensure they too are doing all they can to protect themselves and their community.”

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