COMMUNITY leaders have slammed residents who have been ignoring social distancing guidelines and lockdown rules.

The first person to be reported in west Cumbria had repeatedly ignored officers advice to go home and stay safe over the weekend.

MP for Copeland Trudy Harrison said there was 'no excuse for ignorance' and the situation was too serious to be clowning round.

Over the weekend four people in Cumbria were reported for ignoring new government guidelines.

The government said it was vital people socially isolate to combat coronavirus yet over the weekend officers have had to speak to a group of people found having house parties and walking the street for no reason.

A 24-year-old man from Whitehaven was the first person in West Cumbria to be reported for being in a public area without a lawful reason.

The man had repeatedly been seen out in Whitehaven town centre on Saturday with no reason and officers explained the situation to him numerous times which he ignored.

He was spotted again on Sunday and was returned home by officers who then reported him for the offence.

Shocked by the lack of common sense, Mayor of Copeland Mike Starkie said: “It’s just irresponsible the message is loud and clear stay home and stay safe people need to pay heed to government guidelines.

“It is too serious to be clowning round like this.”

It beggars belief that people are not showing common sense were the sentiments from Trudy Harrison MP for Copeland.

She said: “The police are being extremely reasonable, nobody could claim not to understand the severity of the national crisis and the need for social distancing.

“The message from the government and the NHS is incredibly clear stay home save lives.

“I can’t believe it when somebody has blatantly ignored the police and they have been so reasonable, it beggars belief why somebody would feel they are beyond the law in this instance.

“There can be no excuses for ignorance given the high profile way in which government and everybody else is discussing this.”

Working round the clock, Cumbria police said they are trying to tackle blatant disregard for the rules.

Temporary chief superintendent Rob O’Connor said: “Cumbria Police is making every effort to engage with the public in these unprecedented times.

“This weekend we have seen the residents of Cumbria and tourists complying with the restrictions, with the Lake District and town centres being extremely quiet.

“Police will continue to speak to members of the public and provide information around the government legislation, seeking to gain compliance through communication and collaboration with our communities.

“Officers are aware that the overwhelming majority of our communities are abiding by the rules in order to help us all protect the NHS.”