'Hit them hard' - What Gazette readers said about 'rule of six' fines

Those who breach the Government’s new ‘rule of six’ restriction on how to safely meet other people in a social setting should be “fined immediately” as a deterrent to other rule breakers.

Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 6:00 am

That’s the message from Gazette readers as they react to the new rule, which was brought into law as of Monday, September 14.

Announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week, the rule makes it illegal for groups of more than six people to meet up indoors or outdoors, with limited exemptions.

These include in an organised sports setting, for school or for work.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week that the rule of six would come into force from September 14. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse suggested that people should be educated on how to follow the rule on their first breach of the guidelines, before being fined if they refuse to comply.

We asked you if first-time offenders should be fined for not following the ‘rule of six’ – with the majority of readers calling on those “flouting” the restrictions to be fined as a deterrent to others.

This is what you said on the Northumberland Gazette Facebook page:

Marion Craig: “Why should the police have to enforce this. They have enough to do. Please people use your common sense. Think of others as well as yourselves. Keep your distance.”

Kathy Hodgkins: “So you can break a rule that's in place, but given a second chance to do it again? Makes no sense at all.”

Leslie Slater: “For those who don't comply hit them hard.”

Jeanette Wood: “I think the ‘rules’ are idiotic. It’s OK to be with dozens of people in workplaces, schools, colleges and other environments that you have little to no control over but not OK to be around a few people in one that you do.”

Margaret McCallum: “Everyone now knows the rules so why let them off. This is why we are in the mess we are in.”

Monica Stewart: “Fined immediately, no chances, they know the rules.”

Al Jones: This wishy washy approach is why people don’t listen. ‘We may do this or we might do that’. It should be ‘we will do’. No grey areas no faffing about.”

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