CALLS have been made for clarity on the definition of “local” when it comes to lockdown restrictions after police stopped people going for a walk in Dedham.

A family reported they had been stopped by police in the beauty spot on Sunday.

The walker said police had asked them if they “lived locally”, and reported seeing officers stop a group of six walkers who proceeded to show a form of ID.

The post sparked a debate as to what could be considered local under current Government restrictions.

The walker in question said: “We live three miles from Dedham and consider ourselves to be mature, sensible grown-up adults, who adopt a common sense approach to life and while we understand the reasons we were stopped, I thought it was worth reporting that I found it both uncomfortable and unnecessary.”

Another commenter said: “However you read the guidance, applying common sense would help the current situation.

“Driving out of your local area to find somewhere to walk - you do so at your own risk.

“People will be fined and that’s what the current situation is.”

Sir Bob Russell, Colchester’s High Steward, called for a clear definition of “living local” to help guide people as to where they were and were not allowed to roam.

He said: “This is not ‘policing by consent’, it is not how we should do things in this country.

“What is the definition of ‘living local’ when Dedham is in the borough of Colchester?

“Is it OK for me to go for a walk in High Woods Country Park, or Middlewick, or Abbey Field, or Hilly Fields?”

“What is the definition of ‘living local’?”

On reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was seen cycling in an east London park seven miles from his home, policing minister Kit Malthouse said: “Local is, obviously, open to interpretation, but people broadly know what local means.

“If you can get there under your own steam and you are not interacting with somebody … then that seems perfectly reasonable to me.”

Mr Malthouse said everyone was “on tenterhooks” to see how the impact of such restrictions will impact on infection rate figures.

“If we are going to make sure that this is the last lockdown, we all need to stick by the rules and take it really seriously,” he said.