Family fined after driving from London to Devon for fishing trip
12 April 2020, 12:51 | Updated: 13 April 2020, 09:37
A family have been fined after driving nearly 200 miles from London to Devon for a fishing trip despite coronavirus lockdown measures.
Officers stopped and turned around a family who had driven overnight from the capital for a fishing trip to the south-west.
Devon and Cornwall Police control room supervisor Mike Newton said the family was sent back to London at about 5am on Easter Sunday.
He wrote on Twitter: "Officers locate a family from London who have driven overnight for a spot of fishing.
"Escorted out of Devon, and adults issued with fines.
"I shall refrain from further comment."
The government advice is to stay at home and keep away from others. People most only leave their house if it is essential and exercise must be done within a reasonable distance from one's home.
05:16, #Torquay. Officers locate a family from London who have driven overnight for a spot of fishing 🎣. Escorted out of Devon, and adults issued with fines. I shall refrain from further comment.— Mike Newton (@mike55213) April 12, 2020
On Thursday, the leader of Devon County Council, John Hart, said police were turning around holidaymakers travelling with caravans or motorhomes on the A38.
He warned those who were visiting their second homes they had placed "extra demand" on pharmacies and risked piling pressure on medical services in the region.
"Please don't pack your suitcase and come down, stay where you are, you're safer where you are, and we're safer with you where you are," he said.
"At the present moment, don't come, you haven't got anywhere to go and on top of that you will distort our system and you may just bring germs down, and that's the last thing we want."
Alliance Roads Policing and ARV officers are out today checking your essential journeys. A weekend break in Cornwall is not essential. Two vehicles turned around and drivers dealt with within five minutes of setting up. To everyone else, thank you for staying at home. pic.twitter.com/ThjT2bFt51— Alliance Roads Policing📱+🚗=❌ (@RoadPolAlliance) April 11, 2020
Cornwall Council also said it had received about 200 reports from residents that holiday lets are defying the government order to close.
On Friday Steve Darling, leader of Torbay Council said: "For once this Easter we are asking visitors to stay away, to follow the government guidance and keep with social distancing.
"Our beautiful bay will still be here once we have tackled this awful virus and we hope to see you then."
Officers have been patrolling beaches and local waters in the south-west and have said that "for the most part people are following guidelines."