Waltham Forest’s police chief has called on every single person in the community to play their part in driving down Covid rates.

Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Tucker, the police commander for NE BCU, has urged residents to follow the rules and minimise contact with others as officers.

The rate of infection in the borough is falling, but still remains dangerously high.

Between January 10 – 17 there were 1,982 newly recorded cases, an infection rate of 715.6 new cases per 100,000 residents, down from the rate 1019.6 the week before – the equivalent of 2,824 cases.

Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Tucker said: “We know most people are doing the right things - staying home as much as they can, wearing masks when they should, and avoiding gatherings of all kinds. We thank them for that. However, a small, selfish minority continue to bend, break and in some cases completely ignore these rules and in doing so endanger us all.

“Your local officers are out in our neighbourhoods dealing with these people every day and although they will engage with people, explain the rules and encourage them to do the right thing first, we will quickly issue fines or even arrest people who fail to respond. The Met has issued more fines in recent weeks than in the whole of the rest of the pandemic – not because we want to but because the situation now is so critical.

“Since Christmas we’ve have had to tackle some staggering examples of selfishness and quite frankly, stupidity including attending a Unlicensed Music Events across the NEBCU, one such example was in Argyll Avenue, where a ten thousand pound fine was issued to the organiser.

“We’ve also been working side-by-side with our council colleagues from both Newham and Waltham Forest to make sure public spaces like parks, high streets and shopping centres are as safe as possible and that businesses are operating as they should be.

“You’ll realise that every time officers have to tackle people for Covid breaches, or indeed other crime and anti-social behaviour, they put themselves, and their families at increased risk from this deadly disease. I know you’ll join me in thanking them for their professionalism, dedication and commitment.

“Lastly, many of you will have seen that Covid case figures in London have started to fall in recent days and like me are hopeful the vaccine roll-out will reduce these further but please remember rates are still dangerously high – many, many times what they were only a few weeks ago. More than 10,000 Londoners have died of Covid and every day last week more than 10,000 were diagnosed with Covid. Tragically, this will mean more people will die.

“That’s why we must stay at home but if you do need to go out for one of the allowed reasons be assured your local police will be playing their part in keeping you, and everyone else, safe.”