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Coronavirus Kent: Motorcyclists in Darenth issued with warnings by police after ignoring government guidelines on social distancing

Police have issued 10 warnings to motorbike riders for ignoring social distancing rules during the Covid-19 health emergency.

Officers responded to reports of antisocial behaviour in Darenth on Sunday with people flouting the national government advice to not socialise and to stay indoors to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Police and paramedics were called to the crash scene (33227858)
Police and paramedics were called to the crash scene (33227858)

Dartford Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) attended Ladywood Road in Darenth where they issued the Section 59 warning letters to people seen riding motorcycles or were gathered watching.

The letter warns the owners that should they attend the location again, an order will be sought under the Police Reform Act which enables officers to seize vehicles causing antisocial behaviour within the next year.

On the same day, a 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old man were both issued fines, under new powers relating to the Coronavirus Act 2020.

The incident related to them being seen together riding motorcycles on the A296 junction, Wood Lane in Bean, and were both unable to provide a reasonable excuse as to why they were out.

Dartford and Gravesham District Commander, Ch Insp Neil Loudon said: "We take reports of antisocial behaviour seriously and want to reassure the public that despite the challenges of the current way of working we are responding to reports as usual.

Police news. (33227854)
Police news. (33227854)

"We have always had powers to warn, fine, seize and in some cases destroy a vehicle if it has been driven uninsured or where the motorcyclist or driver is causing a nuisance and will use these powers where they are required.

"Sadly despite the national government advice to stay at home and to only leave home to shop for basic essentials, to do one form of exercise a day, for a medical need, or to travel to and from work where this is absolutely necessary, there are a minority of people who continue to flout the law.

"We will continue to engage with residents to remind them of the need to follow government advice and encourage them to do so.

"As a last resort, we will use enforcement where we need to."

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