Social distancing 'vigilantes' urged to report rule flouters to police after arguments in Sutton's parks

The deputy leader of Ashfield District Council has urged residents to report anyone flouting social distancing rules, after ‘vigilantes’ have approached groups of people in parks.

Friday, 10th April 2020, 1:46 pm
Updated Friday, 10th April 2020, 1:47 pm

Councillor Helen-Ann Smith, deputy leader of Ashfield District Council and the Sutton Neighbourhood Policing Team has urged asking anyone who is concerned about residents breaking social distancing rules to contact the police.

Police in Ashfield confirmed a rise in the number of ‘vigilantes’ approaching groups on the area’s roads and parks, where arguments have ensued – especially in parks.

They are encouraging residents with any concerns to call 101 and let the police deal with it.

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Councillors Helen-Ann Smith, David Hennigan, Pete Calladine (Community Protection Officer), Samantha Deakin and Jason Zadrozny on Sutton Lawn. Picture taken in August 2019

Councillor Smith said, “Many residents have complained about seeing big arguments when using our parks for their daily exercise.

“I am asking residents to leave it to the police to disperse any gatherings.

“Our local police have been brilliant, please trust them to do their job.

“Residents have increasingly been complaining about a small minority flouting the rules designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“If residents see gatherings on their local parks or witness ‘lockdown’ parties or big BBQs – please call ‘101’ and let the Police deal with it.”

A spokesperson for the Sutton Neighbourhood Policing Team said, “We have had reports that a number of incidents have happened over the last few days whereby people are challenging others in relation to Covid-19 issues and this is creating more problems.

“Our team are out and about conducting high visibility patrols across Sutton and will be responding the calls for service in relation to Covid-19.”