A Conservative MP for North West Hampshire is encouraging the public to contact police if they spot their neighbours breaking the new coronavirus restrictions.

Today the “rule of six” comes into force in England meaning any indoor or outdoor social gathering of more than six people is against the law.

If you are caught breaking these new restrictions you face fines of up to £3,200.

Policing Minister and MP for North West Hampshire Kit Malthouse said neighbours should ring the non-emergency police phone number to report breaches.

This comes after the National Police Chiefs’ Council chairman Martin Hewitt has previously denied that enforcement of the rule of six relies on people “grassing up” their neighbours.

This morning on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he said: “We are in discussions about what reporting mechanisms there might be, but there is obviously the non-emergency number that people can ring and report issues they wish to.”

When he was asked whether that would include reporting a gathering of more than six in a neighbour’s garden he said: “It is open to neighbours to do exactly that through the non-emergency number, and if they are concerned and they do see that kind of thing, then absolutely they should think about it.”

He said on Times radio that the new restrictions forced him to cancel his child’s birthday party even though children are mixing with each other in their school setting.

The new rules prohibit people mixing with more than six people indoors or outdoors but these rules do not apply to the below:

  • Schools/ College/ University
  • Workplaces
  • Funerals
  • Weddings
  • Restaurants
  • Large households
  • Support bubbles
  • Places of worship
  • Organised sport

More than 3,000 cases of coronavirus were recorded for the third day in a row on yesterday September 13, none of these were in the Basingstoke and Deane area.

This is the first time since May that cases were above 3,000 on three consecutive days and the new measures hope to ease the recent spike in cases.

The R rate (the reproduction number of coronavirus transmission) is now above one for the first time since early march.