Police visit Sheffield man twice in THREE days over false Covid breach reports

A Sheffield man has accused police of time-wasting after officers turned up at his door twice in three days over false reports he had breached coronavirus lockdown rules.

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 9:55 am

Sam Francis has formed a support bubble with his girlfriend, as permitted under Covid-19 restrictions, meaning she is allowed to visit him and spend the night together at his home in Manor.

So the 29-year-old plasterer was surprised to get a visit from officers last Friday, November 27, telling him someone had reported him for supposedly flouting the national lockdown rules which were in place at the time.

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Sam Francis says police could have been out chasing genuine criminals rather than visiting his home in Sheffield for a second time

He was even more surprised when, despite trying to explain himself, they told him he was breaking the law and could be fined £200 if he was caught doing so again.

Sam called South Yorkshire Police that night and, having been assured over the phone that he was doing nothing wrong, he assumed that was the end of the matter.

Instead he got a second visit just two days later, on Sunday, November 29, when officers told him they were following up a new report that he was breaking the rules.

“We were in bed when they came the second time at around 11.10pm,” said Sam.

"When I explained what had happened and gave them the reference number I’d been given over the phone, I think they were a bit embarrassed, and they apologised and left.

"I understand they had to come out the first time but I was really angry that they came again on Sunday night. It was playing on my mind so much that I couldn’t get to sleep until about 3am.

"All they had to do when they got that second call was to run a quick check to see if they’d visited the address before and they could have saved their time and mine, and been out chasing real criminals.”

Under the coronavirus restrictions, anyone who is in a single-adult household can form a support bubble with another household that is not part of a bubble with anyone else.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Police have a duty to follow-up on reports of suspected breaches of Covid-19 regulations.

"In this case, officers were satisfied that an exemption did apply and closed the incidents when the occupant notified them of the circumstances.”