Published: 09:57, 07 May 2020
| Updated: 09:59, 07 May 2020
A police chief has reacted to the news of people ignoring lockdown restrictions in Kent's Covid-19 fatality hotspot.
Chief constable Alan Pughsley expressed his frustration with residents in Cliftonville West flouting lockdown measures, after it was reported many are continuing to ignore the rules after officers warn them.
Watch chief constable Alan Pughsley at this week's police briefing
It was revealed last week that the Thanet area had a total of 13 deaths related to coronavirus betweeen 1 March 2020 and 17 April 2020, the highest in the county.
The chief constable said: "It's massively frustrating if people say yes, and then minutes later they're breaching the rules again."
"If we go right back to the beginning and ask 'why are the rules here?'
"It's to stop the transmission of the disease which is ultimately leading to people's deaths - over 30,000 of them, let's put it into context."
The police boss revealed there have now been 113 fines handed out for people not complying with the lockdown rules.
There have also been 104 instances of people spitting and coughing on officers during lockdown, more than double the figure from last year.
Mr Pughsley said he had been in contact with police in the Cliftonville area to make sure the situation was being responded to.
He said: "The local chief inspector is dealing with it, we have patrols in that area, and we will deal with them in a sensible way if they're breaching the rules."
It comes as residents in Cliftonville expressed their concerns at neighbours socialising and drinking in the streets during lockdown.
Matt Shoul, of Athelstan Road, runs the Athelstan Road Tenants and Residents Association (ARTRA).
He said: "There hasn't been a lockdown in Cliftonville West, there is no lockdown on Athelstan Road either.
"If you go out on the street anywhere in Cliftonville West you will see an awful lot of people outdoors anytime of the day or night.
"The street's just full of people sunning themselves, hanging out, drinking - business as usual for Athelstan Road."
Mary Strachan, of Dalby Square, also said she had seen a number of people ignoring the government guidelines and going about their daily lives.
She said: "There are lots of people living in HMOs (house in multiple occupation) who are just totally ignoring lockdown.
"They're either not getting it, or they are deciding to defy it."
In last week's briefing, Mr Pughsley reminded the public to stick to lockdown rest rictions, as Boris Johnson announced a "downward slope" in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The police chief also said there had been an increase in people and cars seen out and about across the county, and said he would put more officers on the ground if needed, to combat people ignoring lockdown measures.
As businesses settle into the lockdown in the past week, a number of retail outlets announced plans to re-open and offer a limited service, including fast food restaurant KFC.
But police were called to a KFC branch in Broadstairs last week, as huge queues formed after it was announced some outlets would open again for delivery.
Those who turned up wasted their time, as the outlet was only operating deliveries.