A POLICE chief has warned of the severe consequences of breaching lockdown rules after police were forced to speak with more than 500 rule-breakers.

Cumbria Police revealed that officers engaged with 559 people regarding possible breaches of national lockdown restrictions over the weekend, with a total of 68 Fixed Penalty Notices issued as a result.

The force revealed that people from across the UK headed to Cumbria, with some coming from Northamptonshire, Liverpool, Yorkshire and Scotland.

Cumbria Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery said: “It remains the case that the vast majority of people are listening, are understanding why the restrictions are important and are following. There remains a small minority who are seeking to either push the boundaries as far as they can or pay them no attention.

“One of the issues which we saw quite a lot of over the weekend was people from multiple households travelling together in one vehicle. This is obviously concerning behaviour and people need to think about the health consequences of their actions.

“Infections are running at very high levels and hospital admissions, both nationally but also here in Cumbria, are rising and causing a great deal of concern. We need people to stay home as much as possible in order to restrict the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Simon Fell, MP for Barrow and Furness, said: “People should always try and stay at home and stay local.

“Every MP, the Police, NHS and other local leaders signed a joint letter saying the same only a few days ago.

“Reducing unnecessary contact will break the chain of transmission and help stop this virus in its tracks.”

One example includes four men from Sheffield travelled to Derwent Water with the intention of staying overnight before climbing a mountain the next morning. Another man drove from north of the Border to pick up his friend in Carlisle so they could head to Southwaite Services to enjoy a Burger King together.