Coronavirus news: Birmingham man accused of breaking Covid law while smoking in car

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The father-of-two was purportedly in “a five-minute breather” from his children when he was approached by the officer. The officer then told the man “sitting in your car is not a lawful reason to come out in lockdown,” according to Dailymail.co.uk.

The man filmed the conversation with the officer who had pulled up next to his car.

He told the officer he “just came out for a five-minutes breather from my kids”.

The man allegedly explained to the officer he had been living in a two-room emergency accommodation with his family.

However, he appeared to become agitated as he started telling the officer he was “taking the p**s” and asking him to “go away”.

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Footage of the exchange, which was uploaded to social media platform TikTok, shows the officer inside the marked car.

The police community support officer (PCSO) allegedly told the man: “Sitting in your car is not a lawful reason to come out in lockdown.”

The man then replied: “Yes it is. Why not? I’m locked up in two rooms in emergency accommodation.

“I just came out for a five-minute breather from my kids.

“Do you want me to smoke a cigarette inside? Have you guys got nothing better to do?”

The officer purportedly attempted to justify the interaction by telling the man it was “what we’ve been told to do.”

West Midlands Police bosses have defended the officer saying he “clearly explained” the reason behind his questions.

Assistant chief constable Mark Payne said: “I support the actions of our PCSO. We are policing a pandemic which has cost thousands of lives, with hundreds of people still dying on a daily basis.

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“Our officers have been tasked with enforcing rules designed to keep people safe, which means we will be asking people why they are outside during a national lockdown.”

He added: “Our PCSO clearly explained why he was asking the man questions, as we are asking staff to do as part of our engaging and explaining strategy.

“The vast majority of the public are doing their part and sticking to the rules, and we remain very grateful for their support.”

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