POLICE will remain visible in Cumbrian communities to deter crime and support the nationwide ban on gatherings of more than two people.

That was the message today from the county's third most senior officer.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Slattery said the new measures to slow the spread of coronaVirus now in place include:

*Regular foot patrols to monitor communities, with officers giving advice where necessary;

*Police visits to licensed premises to ensure they are abiding by the national instruction to close;

* And officer giving advice to motorists in line with the government strategy.

The government has told all but essential workers to stay at home while all shops other than those deemed essential - such as food outlets and pharmacies - must also close. Gatherings of more than two people in public have also been stopped.

Assistant Chief Constable Slattery, who is chairman of the Cumbria Local Resilience Forum, said: “These new measures are there to save lives and protect our loved ones.

“We are all in this together – so please follow the advice to stay at home and help us to help the national effort.

“Our officers have been out in our communities since the Prime Minister’s announcement, engaging safely with people and giving out guidance - and the majority of people seem to be complying.

“The traffic on the roads is down significantly and our streets and town centres are noticeably quieter."

He added: "We ask that people understand that complying with these measures will save lives, contravening them puts lives at risk – it should be an easy choice to make."

For more details go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus