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COVID breaches 'a nightmare' at Windsor hotspots, police say

WINDSOR 133272-7

The Long Walk in Windsor has been a popular spot for daily exercise

A Thames Valley Police inspector has described how people breaking COVID-19 rules at Windsor hotspots is ‘becoming a bit of a nightmare’ for the force.

Speaking at a Windsor Town Forum meeting this week, Inspector Tracey Croucher said certain ‘repeat locations’ are experiencing breaches of COVID restrictions ‘over and over again’.

In Windsor, these are the Long Walk, and next to the Cote restaurant near the river.

Insp Croucher said: “It is ridiculous, really. You go down the Long Walk and the car parks are rammed on a weekend, especially on a Sunday.

“People are not always social distancing and there are groups gathering.”

“And of course they are popping into town for a coffee, and across the Eton bridge to Costa, and that’s causing a bottleneck there as well by Cote.”

She added: “We are aware of it, you may not always see us, but we promise you we are down there – it is a bit of a nightmare.”

Members at the town forum on Wednesday were also updated on a number of COVID-related crime stats across the Royal Borough.

Insp Croucher, who announced she would be leaving her post at the end of March, said that from January 6 to January 12, TVP attended 81 COVID incidents.

“That is everything from gatherings to house parties to quarantining, to masks not being worn, everything across the board,” she said.

The force attended another 82 between the period January 13-19, and 61 between January 20-26, the virtual meeting heard.

An update on Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) across the Royal Borough was also provided.

From January 6-12, a total of eight were given out; from January 13-14, there were 24, and during the period January 20-26, 13 people were slapped with FPNs for breaking COVID rules, taking the total for the month to 45.

“That has gone up a lot since Christmas and this lockdown,” Insp Croucher said.

“What we are saying is: people should know the rules by now. I know there are complexities around the rules, and we won’t enforce anything that is wooly. If it is a blatant breach of the legislation, then we will act on that.”

The police inspector added that repeat incidents included large gatherings, and also people failing to wear face masks indoors.

The plea comes after police and Slough Borough Council (SBC) launched a joint effort to encourage residents to abide by lockdown rules, with cases in Slough remaining high.

Superintendent Gavin Wong, Local Policing Area Commander for Slough, said: “My officers in Slough continue to work hard to protect the public and we will be carrying out increased patrols, and we have dedicated resources in place to help in the fight against coronavirus.”

SBC chief executive Josie Wragg added: “This is the final push and though the sacrifices we are all making are hard, only together can we protect our town and its residents.”

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