THE chief of Wiltshire Police is urging people to be "safe and sensible" and celebrate this year's Summer Solstice at home.

The stones at both Stonehenge and Avebury are closed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, English Heritage will be live streaming the event from Stonehenge.

The plea from Chief Constable Kier Pritchard comes as Wiltshire Police revealed that no fixed penalty notices for breaching Covid-19 legislation have been issued for the past two weeks. But he says the force is "not complacent" and that events this weekend could "potentially prompt people to take risks".

Chief Constable Pritchard said: "Thankfully we are continuing to see a drop in the number of reports coming into Wiltshire Police, relating to Covid-19, and it is clear that any issues we do see are isolated incidents rather than a trend of people choosing to flout the rules.

"However, we are not complacent, and this weekend will see events which could potentially prompt people to take risks.

"Most notably it is Summer Solstice, which would usually see thousands of people flocking to sites in Wiltshire to mark the occasion.

"However, this year, the stones at both Stonehenge and Avebury are closed to the public so please do not travel there.

"English Heritage will be live streaming the event from Stonehenge so we urge you to be safe, be sensible and celebrate at home this year."

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Wiltshire Police says the overall demand on the force for Covid-19-related matters "continues to fall", with the lowest number of related crimes and incidents since the beginning of the pandemic.

Between June 8 and 14, Wiltshire Police recorded the following:

• One incident linked to Covid-19 – compared to 12 the week before

• Five crimes linked to Covid-19 – the same number as the week before

• Issued zero fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for the second week running

• One arrest for a breach of the Covid legislation

Following the ban on mass gatherings, social distancing guidance and deliberations with police, emergency services and the druid and pagan communities, English Heritage announced in May that it would not host the Summer Solstice event.

Instead, the sunset on Saturday (June 20) and sunrise on Sunday (June 21) will be live streamed for free on English Heritage's social media channels.

Stonehenge director Nichola Tasker said: “We hope that our live-stream offers an alternative opportunity for people near and far to connect with this spiritual place at such a special time of year and we look forward to welcoming everyone back next year.

“We know how strong the draw to come is for some people, but I would take this opportunity to say please do not travel to Stonehenge this summer solstice, but watch it online instead.”