The police are “withdrawing” from enforcing lockdown breaches and will only break up large gatherings
Police say they are “withdrawing” from enforcing lockdown breaches and will only break large rallies because they tell ministers that following rules is a “personal and moral responsibility”
- Police say lockdown issues are now a “personal and moral responsibility.”
- Officers have been found to have little power to enforce social distance rules
- Labor PCC Says Audience Told Officers “If It’s Good For Cummings, It’s Okay For Us”
Police are starting to withdraw from enforcing certain lockdown measures and are holding on to breaking up large gatherings, senior chiefs of police said.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that police officers have little power to enforce social distance rules, such as wearing a face mask or keeping two meters between people.
Less than a week after the prime minister’s top employee traveled to Durham, police are now saying that the public has responded to approaches with, “If it’s good for Cummings, it’s good for us,” The times Has claimed.
Police are now choosing to “deploy, explain and encourage” lockdown measures as it has become more difficult to enforce rules, for which they are not competent in some cases
The Council of National Chiefs of Police and the Association and Association of Commissioners of Police and Crime have told ministers that lockdown issues have become a matter of “personal and moral responsibility” rather than an enforceable police issue.
The NPCC has previously stated that it considers enforcement as a “last resort” and instead chooses to “involve, explain and encourage” the public to comply with government guidelines.
Conservative Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway wrote to other PCCs on Tuesday saying the government accepted that the police had ‘withdrawn’ from the lockdown rules and no longer enforced them.
Officers are still focused on breaking up large social gatherings that clearly show that groups are breaking the rules, she added.
It follows the NPCC guideline issued earlier this month, which read: “Meetings of three or more people (from different households) are not allowed.”
What is the difference between the Coronavirus Act and health regulations?
The main criminal offense under the Coronavirus Act concerns potentially infectious people who refuse to cooperate with the police or health officials when they need to be screened for COVID-19.
But health regulations apply to anyone who doesn’t follow the lockdown rules.
The statutory test under the scheme is whether someone has a reasonable excuse to be outdoors, including working, exercising or caring for the vulnerable.
Regulation 6 applies to a person found outside their home without a reasonable excuse. Regulation 7 applies to meetings, for example, a person who mixes in a large group from outside their household.
Police have two enforceable powers to issue fines or detain people since the start of the blockage, under the Coronavirus Act of Health Protection Regulations.
So far, fines have only been issued under the health regulations, which can be imposed if someone does not have a reasonable excuse to be out of the house.
Since Boris Johnson eased closing measures earlier this month, allowing people to travel anywhere in England to sunbathe or meet someone from another household in a public space, it has become more difficult for the police to enforce this law.
While the police have been unable to enforce any social distance guidelines for weeks, there is a feeling among agents that the Dominic Cummings saga has diminished the public’s motivation to stick to the lockdown rules.
Mr Cummings has refused to apologize for driving 260 miles from his London home to Durham at the end of March with his wife and son, fearing they would be affected by the corona virus.
Nor did he apologize for taking a 96-kilometer round trip to Barnard Castle, which he told reporters it was a test drive to see if his eyes were on driving.