Chief Constable Gareth Morgan

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Staffordshire’s police chief has warned people in Lichfield and Burntwood not to make trips to beauty spots for exercise during the coronavirus lockdown.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council had issued guidance suggesting people could travel as long as the exercise period was longer than the drive.

But Staffordshire Police’s chief constable Gareth Morgan said the guidance would not change the way the issue was dealt with across the county.

Chasewater is traditionally a popular spot for walkers

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“Now is not the time for people to be travelling to exercise in our rural communities or visit local beauty spots and parks and I am pleased that most people understand and support this.

“There has been some recent coverage in the media of additional guidance about what may constitute ‘reasonable’ in terms of the new legislation but I am clear this does not change our policing approach in Staffordshire and we will continue to use discretion and good judgement in deciding what is and what isn’t ‘reasonable’ in the circumstances.

“The guidance from the government remains that exercise should be done locally, using open spaces near to your home where possible, and people should travel only when necessary and for a short distance

“Travelling from other areas, like we have seen some examples of recently, to enjoy the county’s rural areas is not necessary or reasonable.

“The parks, forests and beauty spots in Staffordshire will still be here when this is over and people will be welcome back when it’s safe to do so.”

Chief Constable Gareth Morgan, Staffordshire Police

Staffordshire has seen one of the lowest number of fines issued for people breaching coronavirus measures.

But Ch Cons Morgan said officers would use the full force of powers available to them if necessary.

“My colleagues will continue to patrol all areas across the county this weekend and where they come across people travelling unreasonably or people failing to adhere to the social distancing guidelines, they will engage with them, explain the guidance and encourage people to go home.

“Only as a last resort where reason fails, enforcement action will be taken.

“First and foremost these powers are about keeping people safe and local communities want and expect us to do that, so the most important thing we can all do is continue to stay at home, stay safe and protect the NHS.”

Chief Constable Gareth Morgan, Staffordshire Police


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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  1. Today 2 cars parked up in Wall and 5 people got together with about 10 dogs for a walk,all from same house doubtful but as plod never around who knows

  2. Martin Matthews: there is aboslutely nothing wrong with people walking to their local beauty spot. But if it takes half a day to walk there it might be deemed unnecessary and unreasonable.

    The clues to what the nice policeman is saying are there in the actual words and sentences he is using.

    There is also a mighty big hint in the headline – the bit that says “…driving to beauty spots…”

  3. The Staffordshire police force has been very reasonable over taking exercise, its people not using their common sense that is the problem. If you get up and think you need exercise there are 24 hours in a day so why does everyone think they need to take exercise between 10.00 and 15.00. I walk my dog year round and have walked my dog as early as 06.30and as late as 20.30 during the outbreak and at most, there are a handful of people around. I choose to isolate as much as possible because no one really knows if the guidance is correct or not yet

  4. “… had issued guidance suggesting people could travel as long as the exercise period was longer than the drive…”. What? I am sure that they are making this up as they go along. I never saw this in the Emergency Law. So I can drive over to
    Gwydyr Forest which would take approx an hour and half and go for a hike for three hours? If that’s the case then I’ll be there tomorrow.

  5. Maybe CC Morgan needs to ask his boss Cressida Dicks why she and 30+ police officers together with maybe 100 members of the public gathered on top of London Bridge the other day for the 8.0pm ‘clap’ ?
    And also, maybe he should ask why every day an average of 15000 people fly into UK airports from all over the World without any checks whatsoever, if he wants to be vocal stand on the beaches on the South Coast with a loud hailer and tell the illegals ( about 150 a day) to…. ‘ GO HOME YOU COULD KILL SOMEONE’!!

  6. Bruce Kain: I think you are mistaken. Cressida Dicks is nothing to do with the police. Mrs Dicks is in fact chair of the WI in Chorlton-cum-Hardy and a retired mechanic who worked for the McLaren F1 team for many years. So she is unlikely to be the boss of the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police.
    Perhaps you mean Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police?
    She isn’t the boss of the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police either.
    So, all things considered, I think you got that one wrong.

  7. Bruce, I’d be interested to know where you get your information that there are about 150 “illegals” entering the south coast of England per day… Are you able to provide a plausible source? Just asking.

  8. ML : I was pointing out that Bruce was claiming the Met Police Commissioner was his boss – “Maybe CC Morgan needs to ask his boss Cressida Dicks why…”
    She isn’t his boss.
    Her name is not Dicks.

    Admittedly I really stopped paying attention after that, but I didn’t see the need to address the rest of Bruce’s points as they didn’t seem coherent, relevant or based in reality.

    But thanks for needlessly pointing it out.
    Stay safe and socially distant.

  9. Scribbler, Jeez what a pedant you are, I know people right now have a lot of time on their hands but methinks you really have too much ! Begs the question just how TF you knew Cressida Dicks is the chairman of the local WI in some obscure little village tucked away somewhere, or maybe she isn’t, could be you just made that up ? If it is true then you ‘really should try to get out more ( dont forget to observe social distancing), and if you made it up then I suggest you should engage in a new career of storytelling as you have a better imagination than JK Rowling. Either way you just come across as a ‘smartass’ , yes, I bet you could sit blindfolded on a block of ice cream and tell me what flavour it is? In other words, to use a old English colloquialism ‘ go forth’ !

  10. Bruce Kain: I do know Cressida Dicks, which is why I jumped to her defence.
    I might be a pedant, but at least I got my facts right.
    Your comment was littered with inaccuracies and ignorance.

    By the way, it was Mint Choc Chip if my cheeks do not deceive me.

  11. The restrictions on individual movement are contained in Section 6 of the Emergency guidance. The section does not contain the length of time that an individual can leave their place of living. Also it does not stipulate as to how far a person can travel to undertake your daily exercise.
    Also, it is worth noting that the police cannot issue a ‘fine’. It is a fixed penalty not a fine. I am of the understanding that only a Court can issue a fine.

  12. Taylor Wimpey and a number of other builders are now planning to return to work in early May.

    The general public are not allowed to drive too far and must restrict themselves.

    Tory donors appear to be able to set their own rules. All the lorries, builders and their suppliers are allowed to drive as they wish.

    IMHO a number of these trucks need to checked to ensure they meet weight and loading regulations. Some lorries I have seen, appear to be very overloaded.

  13. I don’t know anything about building sites, how they operate or who supplies them.
    But I agree with Steve it is a scandal that they are allowed to ignore the rules of the road and lockdown laws willy nilly. To make matters worse they are driving danger vehicles, capable of demolishing houses.
    The Government MUST do something about these devils!

  14. And make sure your dog isn’t innocently minding his own business in the garden when the clapping maniacs let their fireworks off.

  15. @Barry Scott : “The Government MUST do something…” The last thing we need at the moment is even more Gov’t control, haven’t you had enough of that yet?

    @Rob: The time of your comment being 8.04pm is flawlessly amusing.

  16. @The Scribbler

    There’s only one thing worse than a pedant, and that’s an ill-educated pedant…

    “ I might be a pedant, but at least I got my facts right”

    Surely you mean?….

    “I might be a pedant but, at least I got my facts right”

    Just saying….

  17. Carol… If there are two independent clauses the comma is placed before the conjunction. That said, such niceties are not considered important these days. I might add the use of full stops is more fundamental.
    It would be a shame if this site was restricted to the super literate. Many contribute from the heart and the meaning is usually discernable.

  18. @ Carol

    There’s only one thing worse than an ill-educated pedant, and that’s an ill-educated pedant trying to correct another one.

    Scribbler’s sentence “I might be a pedant, but at least I got my facts right” is composed of two independent clauses. As such his comma placement is perfectly correct. You should only move the comma to after a”but” if the second clause is being used as an adverb. It isn’t in this case.

    Just saying…

  19. Affirmative, it was mint choc chip ! I can only grovel on the floor and beg to touch the hem of your robe my Lord Penant. In my defense, I did read my post back before submission and realised there may be inaccuracies but i thought ‘ what the hell, it will give the anally retentive something to chew on ‘, and how right I was, like beating a grass lawn with a long stick to bring Lumbricus Pedantis to the surface it worked ! You came to the defense of your friend Cressida ? Oh please, spare me.
    Facts are what pedantic, dull people have instead of opinions, and unfortunately My Lord Pedant you appear to have a gluttony of the former and very little of the latter !

  20. Jesus….just reading through the comments on here. You can tell the schools are closed can’t you? Haven’t you people (you know who you are) got better things to do? Conkers or Marbles etc?


  21. I think Bruce Kain is right.
    Our Chief Constable needs to make a complaint about his boss and the lack of social distancing in London.
    To think we still have floods of people coming into this country when we are supposed to be on lockdown is a national disgrace.
    We should be stopping these people coming into our country. If they have to come here, they should be quarantined for a sensible period of time – six months. If it was good enough for dogs because of rabies, then it should be good enough for the likes of these incomers.
    We need to protect ourselves and listen to people like our MP. His friends in America have the right ideas.
    Well done Bruce Kain for being not afraid to speak what you believe is correct. I don’t trust news anymore. Why should we believe their “facts”?

  22. I thought Dan was going to suggest that the schools being closed had impacted the quality of submission.

    Oh and ‘Haven’t you people (you know who you are) got better things to do?’

    Well, no…

  23. Dan, you suggestions are no doubt well ment, but the restrictions relating to social distancing would preclude playing Conkers and make Marbles difficult because of cross contamination. (Incidently, please note the placing of the comma!)
    You might be missing the banter which lightens the content of some of these posts. It isn’t for real, and will all be forgotten tomorrow.

  24. Bruce Kain – I believe I may has misjudged you and for that I apologise.
    It is a rare gift to only speak your brain.
    Ignoring the hub-bub and endless chatter about facts and only express an opinion is something I am envious of and salute you.
    Very few have that gift but quite rightly they are elevated to lofty status.
    Take the President of the United States’ latest idea, for example: “US President Donald Trump has been lambasted by the medical community after suggesting research into whether coronavirus might be treated by injecting disinfectant into the body.”
    You can only admire such chutzpah in the face of the type of misinformation his medical and scientific advisors have no doubt been peddling to him.
    If we all followed this approach we may have avoided this whole mess.
    Be like Donald and be like Bruce. Only speak your brain.

  25. To Asslus Aquatic. No, I’m Barry Scott of Lichfield.
    I think you should not be too hasty in criticising people who are at least trying to come up with solutions. The “scientists” have done nothing so far. I read something about them doing research on when mice show they are happy, or sad, or shocked. What use is that to anyone? We need to know how to stop the virus, why aren’t they looking into that?
    I think our MP should crack down on sham science like this.

  26. The sun is shining, those of us with young children can enjoy spending time with them, those of us with gardens can enjoy time in them, there are books to be read, films to be watched yet – there are people on here arguing about the placement of commas?! Am I missing something? The long winter nights must fly by in your houses……

  27. Pubs is shut innit.
    Nowhere left to debate the important stuff and tell everyone what we reckon about things.
    Not all of us have books, films, gardens or children you know!
    Don’t know if the long winter nights fly by in the house or not, always down the pub arguing about commas, punctuation and the like.
    That’s what I reckon.

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