WILTSHIRE'S top police officer issued a clear warning after people flouted lockdown rules over the weekend.

Chief constable Kier Pritchard spoke out after four Swindon men – suspected of firing an air rifle from a car – became the first in the town to be handed Coronavirus Act fixed penalty notices.

The Covid-19 outbreak is now responsible for 14 deaths at the Great Western Hospital after six more were confirmed across Saturday and Sunday. The UK death toll rose by 621 to 4,934 yesterday.

The number of Wiltshire Police logs and online reports relating to the government guidelines doubled in just 24 hours from Friday to Saturday.

And Mr Pritchard confirmed the advice he gave in a YouTube plea on the eve of the hottest weekend of the year so far had been ignored by some.

He said: “We have seen an increase in people being outside and in public areas over this weekend.

“On Friday, we released a new information poster online and these posters have been put up out in the community, in particular, popular beauty spots. The aim of the poster is to urge people to follow the restrictions of self-isolating in order to avoid the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

"However, it is really disappointing to hear that over the weekend in some locations these signs have been pulled down.”

Mr Pritchard fears the long Easter weekend and a decent weather forecast this week could bring more problems.

He added: “The death toll for the country has now reached 4,934, with a total of 708 confirmed deaths on Saturday alone. This is absolutely tragic – I would urge you all to remember that these rules are in place for a reason and that reason is to save lives.

“Over the coming days and weeks, there is likely to be all sorts of temptation – Easter weekend is looming and the weather is set to remain warm.

"I know that many people will be feeling fatigued and some may become complacent and consider the risks worth taking. We all must take responsibility for our actions."

The four Swindon men were tracked down in Elmina Road on Saturday.

Cops were tipped off at 5.30pm about a black Audi in Axford, near Marlborough, and the sound of an air rifle being shot from the window.

They stopped it 14 miles away in Broadgreen, where they found the weapon in the boot, as well as cannabis.

The quartet– aged 29, 35, 37 and 38 – were all arrested on suspicion of having an air weapon in a public place and possession of a class B drug.

When they were taken to Gablecross for questioning, they were issued with fixed penalty notices for failing to comply with the Coronavirus Act, which states people must only leave their house for essential travel.

They have been released under investigation.

In last night's Downing Street press briefing, health secretary Matt Hancock echoed the words of Mr Pritchard, having earlier warned outdoor exercise could join sunbathing in being banned should 'a minority' continue to break the rules.

Mr Hancock said: “The more people follow the rules then the faster we will all be through this.

“So I say this to the small minority of people who are breaking the rules or pushing the boundaries: you’re risking your own life and the lives of others and you’re making it harder for us all.

“What we are doing is being absolutely clear that the current rules must be followed."

Anybody with concerns about how the government measures to tackle Covid-19 are being adhered to should visit www.wiltshire.police.uk/article/5951/Coronavirus-report-your-concerns