Hampshire police have released a statement on their position on the new restrictions which came into place yesterday. 

The new 'rule of six' prohibits people socialising indoors and outdoors with more than six other people.

Boris Johnson announced last Wednesday, September 9, that failure to comply with new rules could mean you face fines of up to £3,200.

Yesterday policing Minister and MP for North West Hampshire Kit Malthouse urged neighbours to ring the non-emergency police phone number to report breaches.

But in a new statement released by Hampshire Constabulary it seems Hampshire police officers will only fine 'as a last resort'.

Assistant Chief Constable Maggie Blyth said: 

"We are confident that the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will continue to follow the regulations and guidance as we move on to this new stage. 

"Thanks to everyone’s efforts, infection rates in our area remain low, but we have seen rises in cases across the county and in other parts of the country, and we must all continue to take personal responsibility to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. 

"Limiting the spread of infection is primarily the responsibility of public health, and not just down to the police, and we will continue to work with businesses, government, hospitality owners, local authorities, universities and others.

"Our approach throughout the pandemic has been to engage, explain and encourage people to comply with the regulations, and this will continue. 

"We will use common sense and discretion to determine what is reasonable.

"As a last resort, we will enforce, whether it’s by directing people to leave an area, or issuing a fine. We have found that the majority of breaches reported to us can be resolved without having to issue a fine.

"As you will expect, we have proportionate plans in place with dedicated patrols, and we will be out in our communities, speaking to people and making sure they understand what is required."

You can tell Hampshire Constabulary about possible breaches of regulations via the website.

In an emergency, always dial 999. 

You can also report crime via the website or by dialling the non-emergency 101 number.