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‘We’ll keep working to bring normality back to Staffordshire’

Written by on 10 December 2020

Police have warned residents to be on their guard against bogus callers who claim to be offering the Covid-19 vaccine in a bid to get into their homes.

And dozens of fixed penalty notices have also been handed across the county to those caught ignoring the national restrictions.

Now Staffordshire Police is ramping up patrols in neighbourhoods where there have been various reports of household gatherings.

In addition to the enforcement being carried out by frontline officers, the force is also aware of a national trend where fake officials have knocked on doors claiming to have a vaccine for Covid-19. While there have been no reported incidents in Staffordshire, senior officers want families to be vigilant and not fall victim to such hoaxes.

In the week leading up to December 2, officers had given out 91 notices across the county with 55 of those in Stoke-on-Trent relating to breaches with the main issue being household gatherings. In the city repeat locations for household gatherings include Norton Heights, Tunstall and Blurton.

Chief Inspector Rob Hessell says the force is keen to educate residents – but must take enforcement to prevent families putting themselves and others at risk. He said: “It is disappointing that we have had to hand out the notices but it is important people understand why these regulations are in force across our county and the risks they are not only exposing themselves to, but their friends and loved-ones by gathering.

“The majority of incidents we are dealing with are people gathering in houses and our officers will continue to act on reports and take action where appropriate.”

Chief Inspector Hessell said while there had been no reports in Staffordshire of bogus callers claiming to have a vaccine it was important for residents to be vigilant. He added: “We would always advise not to let anyone into your property who has turned up unannounced. With such incidents perpetrators tend to target vulnerable people and we would not want such incidents in our county.

“I would like to thank the vast majority of the public who are adhering to the current restrictions and are supportive of our efforts in working towards bringing normality back to Staffordshire.”