EXTRA police patrols will be taking place across Dorset this Halloween as officers aim to clamp down on illegal mass gatherings.

Dorset Police are asking residents to respect the rule of six both indoors and outdoors on Saturday (October 31) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The rule of six therefore prohibits Halloween house parties from taking place, with those breaching the guidance facing a £200 fixed penalty notice.

It comes as Dorset has seen a consistent rise in Covid-19 cases as officials at Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council continue to limit the spread of the virus.

Dorset Police has suggested that residents should “instead consider many fun alternatives this year” and confirmed that officers will carry out extra patrols across the county.

This will be to ensure that the ‘rule of six’ is followed and to curb mass gatherings indoors and outdoors.

A spokeswoman for Dorset Police explained officers will continue to follow their approach against coronavirus breaches on Halloween and urged anyone who feels that an illegal gathering is taking place to call police on 101.

She said: “There will be additional patrols across the county.

“Dorset Police will continue using the 4Es approach for gatherings of more than six people, using engagement, education and encouragement to ask members of the public to comply with the regulations. Enforcement remains a final option.

“If members of the public are concerned that the law is being broken or they are experiencing anti-social behaviour, they can report this to Dorset Police either online at https://www.dorset.police.uk/do-it-online/ or by calling 101.”

Dorset Police said that in order to help protect emergency services and save lives, the force is asking families, carers and residents to celebrate Halloween in an alternative way.

These suggestions include Halloween themed scavenger hunt, arrange a virtual fancy dress party online, have a window decorating competition or have a scary film night.

Inspector Matt Baxter from Dorset Police said: “This year we are asking everyone, whatever they are doing for Halloween, to take extra care in this Tier One area.

“We all need to follow the rule of six, wear a face covering when appropriate, wash hands regularly and make space. We might all want to consider alternative ways to enjoy Halloween this year.

“We are encouraging young people to create online parties where they can invite as many people as they like.

“We also recommend those that are vulnerable and do not want uninvited guests to the door download our ‘Sorry, No Trick or Treat’ poster to display in the front door or window of their homes.

“There will be additional patrols across the county, and we ask everyone to respect each other, especially neighbours and the vulnerable who might be shielding.”

Under the Government’s rules, anyone gathering in a group of more than six people in any inside or outside place will continue to be dispersed and could now be subject to an increased fine of £200 if they refuse to comply.

In some cases, organisers and facilitators of larger gatherings can be issued with fines of up to £10,000.


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