Council works with local police to tackle social distancing issue in Helmsley: Police and Ryedale District Council Officers joined forces to avoid issues with social distancing in Helmsley centre

17 May 2020

Council works with local police to tackle social distancing issue in Helmsley

Ryedale District Council has worked hand-in-hand with North Yorkshire Police to tackle an issue with a lack of social distancing in Helmsley’s town centre this Sunday.

During last week, some aspects of lockdown were lifted by the government, allowing people to spend more time outdoors and to travel to exercise in the open air - providing social distancing rules are observed.  Since that time, the Council has been urging people to act responsibly if coming to Ryedale for exercise, plan their visit to allow for the fact that many amenities may not be open, and to follow the two metre social distancing rule at all times.

Despite this, on Sunday 17 May, around 30 bikers congregated in Helmsley’s central car park.  A number of the bikers were not following government guidance on social distancing, causing concern to local residents.

North Yorkshire Police were called to the town to move the bikers on, and Community Officers from Ryedale District Council also attended to cordon off the central area of the car park to prevent further gatherings.

Councillor Keane Duncan, Leader of Ryedale District Council, said:

“We aren’t trying to stop people enjoying being out of doors, and we totally understand that people want to come to our beautiful locations here in Ryedale.

“However it is absolutely vital that everyone respects the rules on social distancing, for the sake of our residents and our communities as a whole.

“Throughout the weekend we have had Community Officers out and about across Ryedale just keeping a watchful eye, so we were ready to respond if any problem occurred.  We have also been working closely with our colleagues at North Yorkshire Police to take joint action where needed.

“Fortunately this particular situation was handled quickly, and our Council officers remained on site during Sunday just to make sure that there were no further issues.

“Ryedale is a friendly place, and we want to welcome responsible visitors back to our market towns and beauty spots in a safe way.  Social distancing is essential, and, working closely with the police, we will do everything we can to make sure it is observed.”