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Two women in Derbyshire were fined for driving to go for a walk, and reprimanded for having hot drinks in hand, as police said it constituted a 'picnic'.
However, the BBC report Derbyshire Police told the pair that driving to the spot they chose to walk was "not in the spirit" of lockdown, and added that people should "expect to be challenged" by officers.
Women on exercise trip "surrounded by police" after driving to go on a walk https://t.co/87Nx6FrgqE- BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) January 8, 2021
The women were reportedly approached by multiple officers, to the point where one of them - Jessica Allen - assumed "someone had been murdered" when she turned up at Foremark Reservoir on Wednesday afternoon.
"As we drove in there was a police van, a police car, and there were loads of police there," Jessica, from Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire told the publication.
"I genuinely thought someone had been murdered; the place is normally so quiet. The next thing, my car is surrounded. I got out of my car thinking 'There's no way they're coming to speak to us'. Straight away they start questioning us.
"One of them started reading my rights and I was looking at my friend thinking 'This must be a joke'.
"I said we had come in separate cars, even parked two spaces away and even brought our own drinks with us. He said 'You can't do that as it's classed as a picnic'."
Jessica's friend, Eliza Moore, says she was 'stunned' when the police approached, and so chose not to challenge their decision to hand out a penalty notice.
Government legislation does not specify an actual distance people are allowed to travel for exercise, or what constitutes a 'local area'.
Derbyshire Police said in a statement: "Driving to a location - where exercise could easily have been taken closer to a person's home - is clearly not in the spirit of the national effort to reduce our travel, reduce the possible spread of the disease and reduce the number of deaths.
"Each officer will use their professional judgement on a case-by-case basis, however, people should expect to be challenged and understand the clear reasons why they may be asked about their movements given the critical situation the NHS currently finds itself in."
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