Covid breaches down but officers respond to series of violent non-Covid incidents
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Officers are thanking the public after a reduction in Covid breaches last week, although a number of very violent non-Covid related incidents have needed a significant police response.
There were 80 Covid-related incidents in the week beginning 12 April, the lowest total this year, and only a single fine issued.
The return of the night time economy was also successful, with pub managers and customers generally responding well to the changes.
The easing of some Covid restrictions on 12 April meant that non-essential shops and outdoor hospitality could reopen, allowing six people or two households to meet up at a number of pubs and restaurants in the county.
However while Covid demand has reduced, the Constabulary responded to four incidents of serious violence in the past week, including the fatal stabbing of Joshua Hall in Cam, a man struck over the head with a pole in Stroud, a hammer attack in Tewkesbury and an attempted murder case in Cheltenham, with the victim treated at Southmead Hospital. A number of arrests have been made across those incidents, which are now the subject of ongoing investigations.
On the roads, officers have arrested 23 suspected drink or drug drivers, fined 11 people for speeding or using mobile phones and seized vehicles from 32 people for having no insurance, no licence or no tax.
Chief Inspector Carl Bourne said: “As we continue along the roadmap and restrictions ease, it won't be surprising if reports of breaches decrease but last week’s reductions were significant and it is especially pleasing that we only had to issue one fine.
“A huge thank you to the public for their cooperation so far and we’d like to reassure people we are working with our partner agencies to ensure people continue to abide by Covid restrictions while we also tackle more traditional crime types.
“In terms of other crime, our efforts on the roads have identified a number of people who have been complacent or negligent as they start driving again and it’s vital we crack down on those things when all too often they lead to fatalities.
“Violence levels have remained broadly the same as previous years but the number of serious assaults in the last week has been notable. There’s no obvious reason behind that and it may simply be down to the fact that tension that was under the surface previously now has the opportunity to come to the fore.
“Whatever the reason, several members of the public have noted their concern on our social media channels and we want our communities to know we were always alert to this possibility and, while these incidents do need a lot of our resources, we are flexing as best we can to meet the challenges.
“There have been arrests made and our officers are doing their utmost to meet demand as we start to return to a degree of normality.
"May I reiterate again our condolences to Joshua Hall’s family at the tragic loss of his life."