OFFICERS will reinforce social distancing measures as a ‘last resort’ said Slough’s Local Police Area Commander.

Superintendent Gavin Wong, head of the borough’s policing, issued a statement urging residents to stay at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus as well as protecting the NHS and saving lives.

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Police officers can use new enforcement powers given by government to issue fines starting at £60 to those who ignore social distancing measures and if their journey is non-essential.

Those who do not pay the fine could be taken to court and risk facing an unlimited fee.

Superintendent Wong said: “Everyone will be aware that the police were given new powers to help reinforce these measures and whilst these are an option to us, we will only use them as a last resort.

“Officers will routinely be stopping members of the public and vehicles to ensure the Government’s advice is being adhered to so please don’t be alarmed if you are stopped and work with us if you are told to return home.

“I appreciate that the current climate offers up a lot of uncertainty which may make people feel anxious, unsettled and fearful but I want to reassure you that my team and I are still policing your communities, responding to emergencies as well as effecting the Government’s restrictions to stay inside and only go out in very specific circumstances.

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“I would also like to add my thanks to my team for their sterling efforts.

“They are prepared to put themselves at risk in order to ensure we continue to provide the best service we can and I am very proud of them.”