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Man issued with penalty in Potters Fields Park under COVID-19 regulations

London SE1 website team

A man was issued with a penalty notice under the coronavirus regulations in Potters Fields Park over the weekend, according to Southwark Police.

Potters Fields Park

"Over the weekend we had extra deployments of officers across the borough," said Inspector Owen Pyle in an update posted on local social media.

"They focused on parks, open spaces and along the river. While most people were out for essential purposes or exercise there was a small minority who had come out for sunbathing, picnics or a few beers in a sunny spot.

"All were dispersed and left at our request, with the exception of one male in Potters Fields Park who was issued a penalty notice.

"Please note that sunbathing, picnicking, drinking or having a photoshoot along the river are NOT considered essential activities or exercise and are prohibited under the Coronavirus legislation."

Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, police officers can issue £60 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for breaches of the regulations, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

The regulations state that "no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse," with such excuses including "to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household".

One local resident reported that over the weekend police used a megaphone to encourage people to move on from Spa Gardens in Bermondsey.

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