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We are today, Friday 13th November, urging people who may be considering coming to Liverpool this weekend to protest to think about how their actions may put others at risk.
The country is currently in the second week of a month long national lockdown in a bid to stop the spread of Coronavirus and many people are continuing to selflessly make sacrifices - in the NHS, the frontline emergency services and within their own families, to ensure the safety of others.
During the lockdown, any gatherings, including protests, should not be taking place and, in line with Government restrictions, people should not be making unnecessary travel journeys or meeting with groups of people outside their household or social bubble. It is not only unlawful but puts others at risk.
We respect an individual’s right to protest however during the lockdown we would urge protest organisers to adapt and look at other ways of communicating their message, either via social media or a virtual event, which doesn’t put other people at risk.
We will take action and target those who seek to organise illegal gatherings.
Superintendent Diane Pownall said: “These are unique and challenging times for us all, but we have to learn to abide by the rules to keep our loved ones safe.
“The Government has made it clear that during the lockdown people should only be travelling for essential reasons such as work, education, food shopping and caring responsibilities and they should not be gathering in groups.
“Liverpool is currently in the middle of a mass testing programme which aims to stop the spread of the virus in order that we can all try to get back to normal and come out of lockdown safely.
“The city has always led from the front by showing its commitment, and we need everyone’s support to make this a success.
“We know that the majority of people have continued to do the right thing and abide by the rules but we also know that there is a minority who are choosing to ignore them.
“We have continually adopted a policy of engaging and educating our communities about the restrictions and I want to make it clear our officers will take action where people – or businesses - continue to flout the regulations. We will also look at all gatherings and take action where appropriate.
“Over the coming days we will be working with our partners in British Transport Police and our roads policing officers will be out and about on the roads network ensuring those travelling are doing so for an essential and legitimate reason . If not we will take action.
“The lockdown is for four weeks and it is vital that we continue to do all that we can to protect the NHS and people’s lives.”
The current restrictions can be found on the Government website here