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Police remain vigilant in enforcing Covid rules in West Norfolk

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Officials remain vigilant about people travelling to the coast during lockdown, while patrols have been taking place in Lynn town centre today.

Norfolk Police have said a man was fined for travelling from Cambridgeshire to Snettisham for a walk on the beach at the weekend, while a couple who travelled from Hertfordshire to Brancaster were also fined.

A total of 31 fixed penalty notices were issued throughout the county on Saturday and Sunday while 96 people were given warnings.

West Norfolk cabinet member for environmental services and public protection, and Snettisham resident Stuart Dark said: “We are seeing fewer people on the road and the vast majority of people understand the rules that are there.

“The police advice circulated to all parish councils is to ask people to contact the 101 system rather than get upset and take to social media if they see something happening which police should be aware of.”

Government guidelines define staying local as your village, town or part of the city where you live.

Police have said it might not be practical to give a legal ruling on distance, as some may have to travel outside their village for work or to access basic necessities. But a mile limit could penalise those in rural communities.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk Police said: “We will assess cases on their merit and officers will of course use their discretion and take account of individual circumstances.

“Naturally, our resources will be targeted towards the most serious breaches, for example people who travel long distances to go for a walk, as highlighted by the fines issued this weekend.”

Patrols have been taken place in town centres, including Lynn, as officials ask the public to protect the NHS and stay at home. The vaccinations are offering hope with 5,000 jabs now completed at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The Norfolk Police spokeswoman added: “By reducing the number of journeys we make overall, we reduce the chances of coming into contact with others, either through choice (e.g. buying petrol) or by chance (e.g. breakdowns or being involved in an accident).

“The more we can avoid these situations, the more we reduce the risk of transmission and further burdening already stretched emergency services.”

Holkham Hall has said its beach car parks have been very quiet recently. The two beach car parks remain open to allow local residents to exercise within their immediate area.

But the estate has decided to close the car park within Holkham Park, keeping the pedestrian gates open to allow locals to access the park on foot or by bicycle for their daily exercise.

A spokeswoman for Holkham Hall said: “As expected, the beach car parks are very quiet and we would hope that everyone continues to follow the lockdown regulations, acts responsibly and stays at home.

“Our beach and park provide those who are fortunate enough to live in the immediate area beautiful surroundings in which to enjoy their daily exercise.

“For those who live further afield, we look forward to welcoming everyone back to Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea when it is safe to do so. Never before will we have appreciated the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the landscapes more.”

She continued: “All attractions, The Victoria Inn and Pinewoods Holiday Park remain closed as per government regulations, and the cafes too whilst we carefully review our operational procedures in light of the heightened restrictions and risks.

“The health of our staff, community and visitors continues to be our main priority as we navigate these difficult times.”

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