Police urge Brits to report neighbours if they break coronavirus lockdown rules

AYSGARTH FALLS, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 28: Inspector Mark Gee (L) briefs officers from North Yorkshire Police and Park Rangers from the Dales National Park ahead of an operation to reinforce the importance of social distancing and staying at home at the Aysgarth Falls National Park Visitor Centre which is closed to the public as the UK adjusts to life under the Coronavirus pandemic on March 28, 2020 in Aysgarth Falls, United Kingdom. New police powers to enforce the coronavirus lockdown will allow officers to use force to make people return home if they are in break of emergency laws. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to at least 199 countries, claiming over 27,000 lives and infecting more than 597,000 people. There have now been 14,543 diagnosed cases in the UK and 759 deaths. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Police are encouraging people to tell on others who are breaking rules (Picture: Getty Images)

Britons are being encouraged to tell on their neighbours if they are not following coronavirus lockdown rules.

Several police forces across the country, including Humberside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Avon and Somerset, have released special phone numbers and website portals for tip-offs from the public.

They are directing people away from the non-emergency 101 number, which has been swamped with calls since the lockdown measures were announced on Monday.

The PM has closed down most shops, banned all gatherings of more than two people in public and ordered people to stay home unless they are exercising, buying essentials or going to work.

The online forms allow people to report any concerns about alleged violations of the rules.

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BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - MARCH 28: Police patrol the beach on March 28, 2020 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 25,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
Police patrol the beach in Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)

The government has handed police unprecedented powers in a bid to curb the spread of the killer virus.

Introduced on Thursday with immediate effect, the new powers allow enforcement officers to disperse groups using “reasonable force” and arrest those who fail to comply.

Those who ignore the tougher restrictions could be hit with a £60 fine and £120 if they re-offend.

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An under-fire police force has taken further drastic measures to prevent gatherings after dyeing a “blue lagoon” black.

Derbyshire Police had received criticism for their use of drones in the Peak District to spot anybody enjoying a stroll during the Government-imposed lockdown.

On Wednesday, the force said it had chosen to dye the “blue lagoon” in Harpur Hill, Buxton, as gatherings there are “dangerous” and are “in contravention of the current instruction of the UK Government”.

The force said it hoped the tactic would make the site look “less appealing”.

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Meanwhile, the number of deaths of patients with coronavirus in the UK has risen by its largest number.

A total of 1,019 patients have died after testing positive for COVID-19 as of 5pm on Friday, the Department of Health (DHSC) said, up from 759 the day before.

As of 9am Saturday, a total of 120,776 have been tested, with 103,687 negative and 17,089 positive, according to the DHSC.

A further seven people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Scotland, taking the total there to 40.

A further four people with COIVD-19 have also died in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths there to 38, health officials have said.