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Police in Tier 1 Cornwall launch ‘anti-pint patrol’ to stop sneaky drinkers jumping border

Drinkers plotting to visit Cornwall to take advantage of less strict tier one pub restrictions this weekend will have to dodge ‘anti-pint’ police patrols.

From Wednesday, Cornwall will become the only place on mainland Britain where punters can go drinking in a pub without ordering a ‘substantial meal’.

However, pubs in the county say they have already been fielding calls from punters in neighbouring Devon asking when they will be open and are fearful they could be overwhelmed over the weekend.  

To combat this, Devon and Cornwall police has revealed it will use a fleet of ten patrol cars to target ‘Covid-related matters’. 

It comes after the government confirmed it is against the rules for anyone not living in Cornwall to travel into it, either by road or sea, to go to the pub.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said its patrols would ensure the new tier-based rules were all adhered to. 

Landlady Amy Newland at the White Hart in Chilsworthy, Cornwall, which is right on the Devon border, is scared of drinkers flocking to her pub

Landlady Amy Newland at the White Hart in Chilsworthy, Cornwall, which is right on the Devon border, is scared of drinkers flocking to her pub

Landlady Amy Newland at the White Hart in Chilsworthy, Cornwall, which is right on the Devon border, is scared of drinkers flocking to her pub

Landlady Amy Newland at the White Hart in Chilsworthy, Cornwall, which is right on the Devon border, said: ‘People have been ringing me up from across the border in Plymouth already saying they are going to be popping over for a beer and asking what time we open.

‘It’s scary as we are just a small country pub and it is going to be very difficult for us to police.

‘You don’t know where people are coming from.’

Craig Howe, owner of The Rising Sun just over the border in Gunnislake, Cornwall, added: ‘We do think people are going to be jumping over the border and we might have to put on extra staff to make sure everybody is sticking to the rules.’

James Nicholson, of Saltash, Cornwall, added: ‘I can imagine everyone now wanting to come into Cornwall to go to the pub. It is understandable, but too many people could cause problems.

‘I am not sure we need the police patrols, that may be a bit too much, but we want to keep the rates low so we can stay in tier one.

‘People have been joking that it could be like the summer on the Tamar Bridge and they may need to set up border checks to make sure you are a local resident. Maybe that’s what the police will need to do from Wednesday to stop everyone packing out our pubs.’ 

A police statement said: ‘Following their successful use earlier in the year and as part of the Covid Surge Funding that the Force has received from the Government, Devon and Cornwall Police have made up to ten additional dedicated double-crewed units to be available to patrol at various locations across the force area.

‘Their sole purpose will be to respond to Covid-related matters and these vehicles are additional to current response levels.

‘Funding of these units remains in place until the end of March 2021, but their use will remain under constant review and will naturally reflect the localised situation and tier that the Government has placed our area within.

The onerous tiered system will be in place across England from December 3 until the end of March, the Prime Minister said

The onerous tiered system will be in place across England from December 3 until the end of March, the Prime Minister said

The onerous tiered system will be in place across England from December 3 until the end of March, the Prime Minister said

Devon and Cornwall police will use 10 patrol cars to target people flouting coronavirus rules - including those who visit Cornwall from higher tier regions to visit pubs (stock pic)

Devon and Cornwall police will use 10 patrol cars to target people flouting coronavirus rules - including those who visit Cornwall from higher tier regions to visit pubs (stock pic)

Devon and Cornwall police will use 10 patrol cars to target people flouting coronavirus rules – including those who visit Cornwall from higher tier regions to visit pubs (stock pic)

‘Our policing approach from those working within these vehicles is the same as our wider approach, and that is to engage, explain and encourage people to comply, and as a last resort consider enforcement via a fixed penalty notice.’ 

The announcement by the police has been ridiculed by some, however who claimed officers should have better things to do than stop someone ‘going for a pint.’

Joe Sutton, who lives just over the border in Plymouth, Devon, said: ‘I have never heard of anything so ridiculous.

‘Surely the police have better and more important things to do than this. I know a lot of people who are talking about going over the border to the pub once lockdown ends. Are the police just going to turn them all away or arrest them?

‘It’s a crazy situation.’ 

People in Cornwall, along with those in the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight, will be living under Tier 1 measures – which allow socialising inside homes and pubs subject to the Rule of Six – after the blanket national lockdown ends on December 2.

But nearly 99 per cent of England will be in the toughest two levels, including neighbouring Devon. 

Under tier two rules, pubs will only be able to serve alcohol with ‘substantial’ meals. 

Tier three will be brought in for huge swathes of the country including the bulk of the North, much of the Midlands, all of Kent, and Bristol. 

Under the rules, if you are caught meeting up with people from outside your household or support bubble, you could be handed a £100 fine.

The fine for each subsequent offence would double up to a maximum of £6,400.

If a business fails to comply with the rules, they could be hit with a ¬£10,000 fine.    

Soon after last week’s tiers announcement, worried Cornish residents took to Twitter and local media to warn people from other parts of the country to stay away. 

One wrote that it was ‘beyond stupid’ because ‘people from high rate areas will descend’ on the region, prompting another to reply, ‘God help Cornwall’.   

Another concerned woman wrote, ‘with Cornwall being one of three places on the lowest tier, please don’t think it’s ok to come here if you’re in the highest tiers because it’s really not.’ 

A third asked other Britons, ‘don’t all come to Cornwall now please just let us have our moment.’ 

A fourth Twitter user claimed putting Cornwall into Tier 1 was ‘asking for trouble’ and there would be ‘tourists inbound’.

Another resident demanded, ‘everyone stay away from Cornwall please, we’re ok on our own down here!’

And in comments on articles by local news outlets, residents were similarly unhappy about a potential influx of Britons from elsewhere.  

One said that while people in the region should feel ‘very fortunate’ to be in Tier 1, they hoped people from other tiers ‘treat that with the respect it deserves.’ 

They added: ‘Other than masks, the rule of six, self-isolation, etc we’re pretty much back to a normal life or as much as a normal life can be.

‘We as individuals now control our destiny in terms of can we keep ourselves in Tier 1 or will peoples actions result in moving up a Tier.’ 

New coronavirus tiers: which one is your home in? 

TIER THREE: VERY HIGH

North East

Tees Valley Combined Authority:

Hartlepool

Middlesbrough

Stockton-on-Tees

Redcar and Cleveland

Darlington

North East Combined Authority:

Sunderland

South Tyneside

Gateshead

Newcastle upon Tyne

North Tyneside

County Durham

Northumberland

North West

Greater Manchester

Lancashire

Blackpool

Blackburn with Darwen

Yorkshire and The Humber

The Humber

West Yorkshire

South Yorkshire

West Midlands

Birmingham and Black Country

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

East Midlands

Derby and Derbyshire

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

Leicester and Leicestershire

Lincolnshire

South East

Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)

Kent and Medway

South West

Bristol

South Gloucestershire

North Somerset

TIER 2: HIGH

North West

Cumbria

Liverpool City Region

Warrington and Cheshire

Yorkshire

York

North Yorkshire

West Midlands

Worcestershire

Herefordshire

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin

East Midlands

Rutland

Northamptonshire

East of England

Suffolk

Hertfordshire

Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough

Norfolk

Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea

Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes

London

All 32 boroughs plus the City of London

South East

East Sussex

West Sussex

Brighton and Hove

Surrey

Reading

Wokingham

Bracknell Forest

Windsor and Maidenhead

West Berkshire

Hampshire (except the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton

Buckinghamshire

Oxfordshire

South West

South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor

Bath and North East Somerset

Dorset

Bournemouth

Christchurch

Poole

Gloucestershire

Wiltshire and Swindon

Devon

TIER 1: MEDIUM 

South East

Isle of Wight

South West

Cornwall

Isles of Scilly

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Source: Daily Mail |World News

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