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CM calls for community to adhere to lockdown rules as police urge tighter measures

Stock image of the former Commissioner.

The Commissioner of Police, Ian McGrail, has called for a tightening of the terms of lockdown including on-the-spot fines for those who flout the measures in the face of the ongoing public health emergency.

Mr McGrail put a request to the Minister for Civil Contingencies, Samantha Sacramento, yesterday to consider introducing fixed penalties for breaches of social lockdown amid reports that some are failing to comply with the rules.

“That is an issue that we will have to consider very carefully indeed,” Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said adding that the Government would not want to tighten the rules but conceded that it would have no choice if people failed to comply.

“We do not want to make things harder but if the rules are not observed, we will have no choice but to do so,” he told reporters at a briefing at No.6 Convent Place.

“Unfortunately, our information is people continue to be out and about many times unnecessarily,” he added.

“We’ve made allowances for people to be out in exceptional circumstances; to enable you and your children to exercise, for example, but people who are over 70 most certainly should not be out because they are in the vulnerable age group.”

Reiterating the importance to life of complying with the measures he said: “Please help us to slow down this virus and please cooperate with us because we don’t want to have to further tighten the terms of the lockdown.”

Mr Picardo said the lockdown measures would be reviewed again on Monday in a cabinet meeting but added: “I very much doubt that things will change between now and then."

“I fully expect that the rules will continue to apply for all of next week.”

In the days leading up to his making of the request, Mr McGrail had highlighted on social media how some members of the community were not acknowledging the seriousness of the situation.

Taking to Twitter on Thursday he said: “Some of you are not taking this seriously enough. You simply cannot go out to sit on a park bench and chat with friends. You will be called to order. Please be sensible and respect the efforts of @GibraltarGov and @GHAWeb to protect us all and save lives. #StayHome”

Additionally, on Friday the Royal Gibraltar Police appealed to those most vulnerable in the community, namely those aged over 70.

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