Ale-o ‘ello ‘ello! Police in Tier 1 Cornwall launch ‘anti-pint patrol’ to stop sneaky drinkers from Devon jumping the border for a crafty beer
- Cornwall is the only region in mainland Britain to be in tier one from Wednesday
- There are fears people in other parts of the country will descend on Cornwall
- The government has warned people not travel to the county to visit its pubs
- Devon and Cornwall police will use 10 patrol cars to enforce government rules
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.
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)
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
‘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.
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
Tees Valley Combined Authority:
Redcar and Cleveland
North East Combined Authority:
Newcastle upon Tyne
Blackburn with Darwen
Yorkshire and The Humber
Birmingham and Black Country
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull
Derby and Derbyshire
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
Leicester and Leicestershire
Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)
Kent and Medway
TIER 2: HIGH
Liverpool City Region
Warrington and Cheshire
Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
East of England
Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough
Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea
Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes
All 32 boroughs plus the City of London
Brighton and Hove
Windsor and Maidenhead
Hampshire (except the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton
South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor
Bath and North East Somerset
Wiltshire and Swindon
TIER 1: MEDIUM
Isle of Wight
Isles of Scilly