John Apter, Police Federation chairman, said the relationship between police and the public had been dented by officers being seen as the enemy for having to enforce ever-changing restrictions. He said: “We were presented with the most unprecedented of situations where the laws that were introduced were in some ways unenforceable. “The mixed messages that the public got from the Government or the media meant many of them did not know what was expected of them.
See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest
“Of course, some of the basics were there – like when people were allowed out and so on – but for officers policing who was having a house party or where you were going on a particular day that is not our style of policing.”
” He said most oficers got it right by seeking to engage and explain the restrictions and use enforcement as a last resort but the relationship with the public had still been harmed.
He added: “The relationship with the public has been dented as police were seen as the enemy of the pandemic but I think that is unfair.
“Of course, the police are there to enforce the law but we have to explain what we are doing and why.
“We have got to work now to make sure that relationship continues to heal and to make it better.”
Sir Thomas Winsor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, was also critical of the Government for confusing both the police and public with ever-changing laws and unenforceable guidance.
He said: “The public found it difficult to distinguish between the law and Government guidance during the pandemic.
“Information from different sources was contradictory and meant they were left confused about what they were allowed to do and what they were not allowed to do.
“The frequently changing content and nature of the regulations made it extremely difficult for both the public and the police to keep up.”
Source: Read Full Article