UK lockdown: Police officer calls on public to ‘do their bit’
Officer Caroline called on Britons to “do their bit” and follow the coronavirus lockdown measures after Derbyshire Police attracted criticism for issuing two women with £200 fines. The women drove separately to go for a walk at a remote beauty spot around five miles from their homes. Caroline explained how it has been “uncomfortable” to ask the public to stop playing football in the park following lockdown rules.
Speaking to LBC, Caroline said: “Freedoms are so important to police officers.
“It can feel very uncomfortable going into parks and asking people to stop playing football.
“I just wanted to set straight that it really isn’t at the core of anything in this country that policing wants to see or enact.”
She added: “I am aware there are going to be mistakes.
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“But it’s also very important to understand that if we are giving out tickets, it’s only if people won’t cooperate with that process that we would ever have to move to an arrest stage.
“All we’re asking is for the public to do their bit.”
A police federation chief has urged the Government to make coronavirus regulations “crystal clear” to stop officers “being made scapegoats for poor policy”.
Brian Booth, chairman of the West Yorkshire Police Federation (WYPF), said officers trying to enforce the rules have been “hung out to dry” as a result of “woolly laws”.
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In a Facebook post on the WYPF page, Mr Booth wrote: “Walking a tightrope between maintaining public confidence and upholding the law is not made easy with poor guidance.
“At the end of the first lockdown, I highlighted the difficulties officers were facing when it came down to trying to help police the pandemic with such woolly laws – roll on six months and we are still in the same position.
“Police officers are being made scapegoats for poor policy and law writing. Make it clear for the public, for example, if it is desired that exercise be limited to local, then clearly state in law what local is. Do not insert it into guidance that has no legal standing.
“The NHS is in crisis, my colleagues have a part to play in protecting the NHS and upholding law.
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“Please have a review of what you expect and don’t keep leaving my colleagues hung out to dry.”
Mr Booth told the PA news agency that stories about incidents like those in Derbyshire “undermine policing”.
He said: “The Government need to make it crystal clear what’s involved so the public know what they can and can’t do and police officers know what they can and can’t enforce.
“In the guidance, it says exercise should be local. Why not just move that straight into the law and say you can take exercise within one mile of your home address? Really simple to understand, really simple to enforce.”
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