7th Jul, 2020

Bikers putting townspeople's health at risk claims former mayor

Ian Hughes 24th May, 2020

BIKERS gathering in Stratford have been accused of putting the health of townspeople at risk.

Former mayor Cyril Bennis was angry after more than 100 motorbikes parked up on Waterside, in the shadow of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, this afternoon.

He told the Observer: “We are still advised not to be having mass gatherings, but here even basics like social distancing, and restricting contact to only one person outside your own household didn’t enter into consideration either.

“Local residents are concerned for their health, furious that their own attempts to stay safe are being thwarted by irresponsible visitors, and local council workmen were unable to carry out their duties.

“Anyone who expressed concern and requested the group to move were met with verbal abuse and threatening behaviour.”

Insp Allison Wiggin said the issue raised problems for Warwickshire Police.

“The police are not responsible for enforcing the social distancing of people, just the Covid legislation.

“So to put it in clearer terms, if people are less than two metres apart, there is no power we have to ensure they keep two metres apart, this is guidance. What we have the powers to enforce is groups of people gathering in public areas.

“The officers on duty over the bank holiday weekend have been told to monitor Bancroft and engage with groups if they look as though they are congregating in breach of the law and take appropriate action if needed.

“It is a tricky one to police, but on the whole the communities of Warwickshire have heeded the advice and where we have engaged, taken on the advice.”

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