Keeping people safe from Covid-19: joint council and police action this weekend

While the Council does not have powers to enforce the social distancing guidelines, it has deployed enforcement officers and social distancing advisors in support of the police

Council and Police officers will be carrying out joint enforcement action this weekend to help keep people safe and ensure that lockdown rules are being followed.

While the Council does not have powers to take action against individuals who are not complying with social distancing guidance, enforcement officers will be taking part in joint patrols with the police in key areas in Hackney where Covid-19 breaches have been reported to ensure that residents are adhering to lockdown regulations. 

The patrols will ensure that people are maintaining social distancing, wearing masks indoors and not mixing with people outside of their household or support bubble, with individuals risking fines of up to £6,400 if they do not stick to the Government guidelines.

The latest regulations have been introduced to help ensure the safety of workers and residents in light of a rapid rise in coronavirus cases in the UK - which has seen local health services face increasing pressure. 

In Hackney, the current rate of coronavirus cases is 974 cases per 100,000, as shown by Public Health England data from 14th January 2021. This is significantly higher than the rate of 19 per 100,000 seen in the borough in the last week of August 2020. 

Over the weekend, Council licensing officers will ensure that local hospitality businesses are trading in line with the Government’s lockdown rules, including the temporary ban on selling takeaway alcohol - which is now only available by delivery. 

Businesses who refuse or fail to stick to the Government guidelines could face fines of up to £10,000. 

The Council has also written to all residents last week to inform them of the new lockdown and guidelines, and to remind them of support that’s available to them. 

Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Cabinet Member for Community Safety
The majority of Hackney businesses and residents are taking the vital public health guidelines very seriously and are helping to keep Hackney safe. However, coronavirus cases are rising rapidly in Hackney, and it’s now more important than ever that we all stick to the rules to limit the spread of coronavirus in the borough. 

Council and Police officers will be out this weekend supporting businesses and residents to follow the Government regulations, and where people are refusing or repeatedly failing to do so, they will be forced to take action.
Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Cabinet Member for Community Safety
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy
Hackney’s business community has been working tirelessly with Council and Police officers over the past nine months to make sure that their premises are Covid-19 secure, despite the challenges that they and their businesses have faced as a result of the pandemic. 

These visits are designed to help ensure that all of our local businesses and residents are following the vital Covid-19 safety regulations and creating safe places for us to find the essential items we all need at this time.

None of us want to be back in this situation, and we recognise how difficult this is for our residents and businesses who have been making daily sacrifices to help keep Hackney safe. However, coronavirus cases are rising rapidly in the borough, and it’s critical that we all continue to work together to limit the spread of this deadly virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy

In line with the national lockdown, which began on 4 January, the Council and police are encouraging residents to: 

  • Stay at home except for specific essential purposes or emergencies like shopping for basic necessities or escaping domestic abuse. 
  • Do not gather with those you do not live with or share a support bubble with, and make sure you minimise time spent outside your home. 
  • When you are around other people, such as when shopping or at work, ensure that you are two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble.
  • Wear masks in shops and on public transport, unless you are medically exempt

While Council officers cannot enforce social distancing guidance, enforcement and licensing officers will be on hand at the weekend to help support businesses to operate safely.

If you’re concerned that a business is not complying with the Covid-19 regulations, please let us know by emailing covidresponseteam@hackney.gov.uk. 

Please report directly to the Police for any issues regarding customers not wearing face coverings over their nose and mouth where mandated: https://www.met.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/tell-us-about-possible-breach-coronavirus-measures/