Last month (23 March) local authorities, and the police, were given powers to serve prohibition notices, fixed penalties or even prosecute business for failing to comply with the governments rules on closures.
Since the implementation, Harrogate Borough Council has been working with North Yorkshire Police to deal with businesses who refuse to comply.
To date, nearly 30 premises have been contacted and advice has been issued. This has largely resulted in immediate compliance.
However, last weekend North Yorkshire Police attended a public house which was found to be in breach of the regulations. Subsequently the borough council issued its first prohibition notice for failing to comply.
Councillor Mike Chambers, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing and safer communities, said:
The rules are clear. Unless social contact is kept to the essential minimal, the spread of the coronavirus will cripple the NHS, lead to the death of loved ones and damage UK society and business as a whole.
We will continue to work closely with North Yorkshire Police and use enforcement powers when businesses refuse to do the right thing and comply with the regulations.
Remember, we are all in this together. Please stay at home, protect the NHS and help save lives.
Sgt Jackie Booth, force licensing manager at North Yorkshire Police, said:
We’ll continue working with our partners to engage with licensed premises, explain the reasons for the restrictions and encourage them to be responsible. The advice is clear, that the best thing we can do to save lives is to stay at home whenever possible.
People can report a business not complying via the council’s website at: www.harrogate.gov.uk/covid19.
The council need as much information about the business as possible, including what the business is, its location and dates and times of operating.
Some businesses, such as pubs and restaurants, are able to trade as takeaways so are therefore exempt.