OFFICERS in Hedge End policing the coronavirus lockdown have stopped more than 90 people driving on roads.

But police say that they have only had to issue warnings to three of them.

Officers now have the power to issue on the spot fines to those not following government direction, but in the first instance, police are often stopping vehicles to educate the drivers, with an aim to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

A Hampshire Police spokesperson said: “This morning PC Jon was asked to provide a visible presence in the village and to educate members of the public in relation to our new powers and the current government direction, regarding COVID-19.

“I can confirm that Pc Jon stopped 90 vehicles single handed and only 3 drivers were issued warning regarding the purpose of their journey. My team now has the power to issue fines to those not adhering to government direction but in the first instance we wish to educate the public and our aim is to prevent the further spread of this truly devastating virus.

"Pc Jon will be out and about today stopping further vehicles and speaking to the public this is also a way of the team being visible and offering reassurance so please be respectful and polite.

“One driver told Pc Jon that COVID-19 did not even exist, so clearly education is still needed. I also urge parents to stop their teenagers from meeting in groups and we are still getting calls to groups gathering.

"Our aim is to protect the community and to prevent this virus spreading any further please help us help you and your family.”

The government have told people to remain in their homes unless they are leaving for essential supplies such as food or medicine or to travel to and from work if absolutely necessary, and people still need to maintain two metres apart, while ensuring to wash hands regularly.

Residents have been reminded that they can spread the virus even if they aren’t showing any symptoms.