Police Chief warns shoppers to wear maks of face fines

Watford’s chief inspector has warned that officers will start handing out fines to people who repeatedly refuse to wear face coverings.

London city will enter Tier 2, or ‘High’ risk, after several boroughs reached more than 100 positive cases per 100,000.

Watford has stayed out of Tier 2 for now.

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Watford’s new Chief Inspector, Ian Grout

Watford’s new Chief Insp. Grout said: “Starting on Saturday, there will be a week of action with the council. If people refuse to wear masks, we will move towards enforcement.

“Our emphasis has always been on encouragement. We encourage people to comply with the rules. We’ve probably used a lot more encouragement whereas as now, we will still encourage but there has to be a line.

“Now if you walk into the intu centre for example without a mask on we’re not going to fine you straight away. We’ll ask you to put a mask on. If you put a mask on, all well and good. We’ve done our job in my view.

“But if you refuse to put a mask on and walk off as people have done to staff, then at that point you’ll get a ticket.

“When you look at the level of tickets in Watford so far, enforcement is not something we’ve been doing.”

Ian takes the reins from the borough’s former Chief Inspector Matt Phillips, who has been promoted to Superintendent in the Crime Reduction and Community Safety Unit based at force headquarters in Welwyn Garden City.

Ian is an accredited public order commander, and last December he worked as bronze commander for the NATO meeting held on the outskirts of Watford which saw US President Donald Trump visit The Grove Hotel with other world leaders for the three-day conference. Ian was leading a team of 240 officers and staff, and was responsible for securing the perimeter of the site in Chandlers Cross.

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “I’m delighted that Ian is taking on the role of Chief Inspector for our town. Along with all of his experience, his intimate understanding of Watford and our community will be invaluable. I am looking forward to working closely with the new Chief Inspector to ensure Watford residents continue to feel safe and that we tackle any problems in our wonderful town.”

Inside INTU you must wear a face covering in the shopping centre which has been in force since Friday 24 July.  If you are not wearing one, security teams will unfortunately have to refuse entry to comply with the Government’s Guidelines.  Anyone not wearing a face covering could be refused entry to the centre or asked to leave.   However you don’t need to wear a face covering if you are seated in a restaurant/bar or table serviced food area