BICESTER Town Council has urged all residents to follow government guidance on the coronavirus lockdown after a police crackdown in the town.

Council leader Richard Mould says although it may be difficult at times, people must obey in order to get through the pandemic.

It comes after police closed a house in Bicester as its occupants refused to follow Covid-19 guidelines.

Mr Mould said: "On behalf of Bicester Town Council I would urge all residents of Bicester to comply with government guidance and follow the advice we are all being given in order to protect each other and the hardworking key workers in the NHS and other essential services.

"The town council is aware that some of the restrictions are challenging, but we must follow the rules to ensure we do all we can to overcome this virus."

Thames Valley Police announced this week that it had successfully got a closure order made at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on April 9 for a house in Hudson Street off Bucknell Road.

It followed reports from members of the public of people at the home repeatedly breaching the Covid-19 guidelines set out by the government, as well as anti-social behaviour.

The closure order is for three months and stops anyone from staying at the property other than its current occupants.

Also read: Police take 1,100 reports of lockdown lawbreakers in Thames Valley

The order can also be extended for a further three months and any person in breach of it can be arrested and face a fine or imprisonment if convicted at court.

PC Matthew Longman, based at Bicester Police Station, said: “I am pleased that this closure order has been granted.

"We received reports of repeated breaches of the COVID-19 regulations at this property, as well as anti-social behaviour.

"This order demonstrates how seriously we take these reports.

"It will prevent anyone apart from the current occupants from congregating at the house for a period of three months."

Thames Valley Police was deployed to more than 1,100 alleged breaches of the coronavirus lockdown last week in the region.

The force revealed that these were mainly group gatherings, but is is now the second-highest fine-issuing force in the country.

Chief superintendent Christian Bunt stressed the importance of people following the government restrictions amid the pandemic.

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He said the reason police had been deployed to group gatherings was because they pose the 'greatest health risks by gathering and then dispersing back into our communities'.

People in Bicester have expressed their frustration on social media about residents disobeying rules.

Carl Wilson posted on the Bicester community Facebook page on Tuesday: “I have just been to Bicester to get my mum's medication and I could not believe the amount of kids running and walking around in gangs, it's like a normal summer holidays day.

"I know parents must be getting to breaking point but what is the point in sending them out to play with mates.

"They should be indoors doing some kind of school work – this is not a holiday.”

The town council is also urging people to stay out of play parks after people flouted closure rules.

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On government advice, it closed all 60 of the town's parks, to reinforce social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but people have been removing signs and temporary fixings to lock gates, forcing entry.

Council officers have visited almost a dozen parks and found that signs and temporary fixings to lock gates had been removed.

The parks were in Sunderland Drive, Holm Square, Cranesbill Drive, Palm Court, Banbury Road, Bowmont Square, Kings Meadow, Villiers Road, George Street and Oxlip Leys.

Mr Mould said: “We know it is very tempting to play in parks, especially when they are empty, but people must resist the temptation.

“During the COVID -19 outbreak we are unable to carry out any sanitisation of the equipment and that means you would be putting yourself, your children and any other people you come into contact with at risk of catching and spreading the coronavirus.

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“We would urge everyone to adhere to the restrictions that have been placed on us all by the government so we can all do our bit to stop the spread of this disease.”

If you are using any green spaces for daily exercise you should adhere to the government guidelines on social distancing include maintaining a distance of two metres, exercising alone or with members of your household and washing your hands as soon as you get home.

You can report a Covid-19 breach online via the Thames Valley Police website.