WEST Yorkshire Police has responded to concerns about a lack of face coverings being worn in city centre shops and outlined enforcement would only be used as a last resort.

The force also urged the public to "use their common sense" to protect themselves and others from coronavirus.

It comes after a police officer and shoppers raised issue with the lack of social distancing and wearing of face coverings in the city centre.

PC Ben Pearson (1965), an officer with West Yorkshire Police who has appeared on Police Interceptors and Traffic Cops, first sparked the debate yesterday, in a post on social media website, Twitter, at 1.13pm.

The post, which has since been removed, said: "I've just been into The Broadway, Bradford.

"Massively disheartening to see hardly anyone social distancing or wearing masks.

"It’s like no one was bothered.

"Just can’t get my head round it.”

Read more about that here...

A statement from Ian Ward, General Manager at The Broadway, Bradford, outlined that while the shopping centre must "promote compliance with the law", it is the responsibility of police officers to enforce this.

But West Yorkshire Police has declared it will be continuing to follow its "engage, explain and encourage" policy first, before using "with enforcement where necessary for those who refuse to comply".

This goes for the latest regulations and restrictions as well.

Both West Yorkshire Police and The Broadway, Bradford have reiterated that personal responsbility is a key ingredient for ensuring we all stay safe when out-and-about though.

Superintendent Sally Fryer of Bradford District Police, said: “It is essential that we all follow the latest regulations and restrictions to help prevent the spread of Covid 19.

"This is a shared effort and police will play their part alongside Government, businesses, hospitality owners, local authorities and others.

“I would urge people to use their common sense and think about their own safety and the safety of others during these unprecedented times.

“I would like to thank the vast majority of the public in Bradford for adhering to the rules and their continued support throughout the local lockdown restrictions across the District.

“Our officers will continue to focus on engaging, explaining and encouraging, with enforcement where necessary for those who refuse to comply.

“The demands on the police service are now back to pre-Covid levels making it even more important that everyone takes personal responsibility their own safety and others around them."

Mr Ward added: “The Broadway team has worked hard over the past few weeks, alongside our retailers, to create a welcoming environment that is safe for customers.

"We’ve been really pleased and grateful that the vast majority of customers who have visited the Centre have respected the protocols  in place for their own, and other people’s safety. 

“As the guidance from the government states, the ownership is on the individual. We will, however, continue to monitor the situation and implement changes where necessary.”