A barbers in Swindon has been fined £1,000 after continuing to operate a mobile service out of the back of a van despite the current Covid-19 restrictions.

The business, which had previously been handed a prohibition notice by Swindon Borough Council and two warnings from Wiltshire Police, had continuously failed to engage with the local authority or the police.

This week a police community support officer from the Swindon Area Community Policing Team was out on foot patrol when he spotted the van with the barbers' branding on the side.

When he approached the van he became aware that the barber was cutting a customer's hair in the back of the van.

Intelligence was submitted to Swindon Borough Council's Trading Standards team and a council representative and police officer visited the premises last night (11/11) to issue the fine.

Supt. Adrian Burt said: "This is a great example of the ongoing partnership work between the police and the local authority to ensure businesses and residents understand the importance of the current Government restrictions.

"This particular business had been on our radar for some time, receiving a prohibition notice during the first national lockdown and again more recently, so they were fully aware that they were breaking the rules.

"Despite this engagement, they have continued to break the law at a time when so many businesses are having to make sacrifices - therefore it is only right that this enforcement action has been taken."

Councillor Cathy Martyn, Swindon Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Safety, said: "We know businesses are going through a particularly difficult time at present, but the lockdown restrictions are in place for a reason - to keep people safe and to limit the spread of this awful virus.

"It is important we do all we can to keep Swindon's coronavirus case rate down and business flouting the rules like this does not help matters. Our Trading Standards team will continue to issue prohibition notices if necessary. If you see a business breaking the law you can contact us online at www.swindon.gov.uk/reportbusiness"

Published: Friday 13 November 2020

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