Members of the public are being urged to follow the government advice and stay at home
Hertfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner is asking the public to support the police during the lockdown.
David Lloyd is assuring residents that Hertfordshire Police remains fully operational and prepared, the police have his backing to use their new powers if needed.
Members of the public are being urged to follow the government advice and stay at home to save lives and ease pressure on the emergency services.
Mr Lloyd said: “These are powers that nobody wanted to take on but the situation is grave and they are necessary to ensure that people are kept safe and that as few people as possible die.
“It is vital that we all heed the government advice and warnings and ensure that the police never have to use their new powers in Hertfordshire – our policing is with the consent of the people.
“I intend to ensure that remains the case, and that we are doing what the public would want us to do.
“If the public do not comply with this lockdown the police will use their powers to enforce it, and have my full support in that.
“The Chief Constable has assured me that the force is fully operational and well prepared.
“Our officers and staff are working flat out every day to keep us safe and it is our duty to support them and make their job easier by reducing unnecessary pressures on them.
“I have always said policing is everybody’s business and that is also true of the threat we face to today.
“It is only by working together as a community, acting responsibly and being ready to offer help where it is needed it that we will overcome this crisis.”
Hertfordshire Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: “This is a public health emergency and compliance with these measures are considered necessary to achieve the objective of effective social distancing.
“We have all heard the scientific advice which clearly states this will slow the spread of the virus and save people’s lives.
“The Constabulary urges self-compliance within all Hertfordshire’s communities. Officers and staff will encourage all citizens to do so, remind those who we see in public who we believe may not be following them to do so, and only resort to enforcement action as a last resort.
“If we all work at this together we will slow the spread, save more lives and enable us to return to normality sooner.”
Hertfordshire Police is asking people to go online to contact them, rather than dialling 101 - and only call 999 in an emergency.