The Cornish police commander said people with COVID-19 symptoms were arrested for a series of crimes last week.
Chief Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith went up on Twitter today (Sunday 29 March), broadcasting his surprise.
“You would think people with COVID symptoms would be hiding in bed!” He said.
“Several symptomatic suspects were arrested for GBH last week, drinking alcohol and even violently attacking the cops.”
“Our brave officers are witnessing these accidents, at risk of exposure, to keep us all safe.”
Police said they will begin to make use of the new laws put in place to crack down on irresponsible people who are ignoring national guidelines to reduce the impact of coronavirus.
They include not only checkpoints, as already seen in Cornwall, but also patrols of areas where large groups of people have been reported to gather, such as the beaches in Cornwall and Devon.
The Coronavirus bill eliminated the Lords without amendments and was granted Royal Assent.
It will see the powers of ministers, councils, police, health professionals and coroners temporarily strengthened during the current blockade of the United Kingdom, which is designed to block the spread of life-threatening disease.
The new laws will also allow for greater use of video hearings in court proceedings and introduce changes so that thousands of recently retired NHS staff members can return to work, without any loss of pension rights.
Ian Drummond-Smith said his officers received news of large beach rallies on Thursday and consequently “patrol them tomorrow just to make sure everyone follows the new rules.”
He said: “Tonight we will look at the new legislation to understand exactly what we can do. The point will come where we will move from offering advice to enforcement and, in particular circumstances, targeting persistent criminals.
“No British police officer ever thought they would ever be able to enforce rules like this, but we will.
“Exercise is fine alone or with your family. But you can’t drive to exercise.”
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He added: “Officers in Cornwall today received news from locals in various locations – such as Perranporth – of large gatherings of people on the beaches.
“We will ensure that those areas are well patrolled.”