Changing rules will make lockdown 'almost impossible' to police, Federation warns

A relaxation of lockdown guidelines over the Christmas period will be increase pressure on officers and be “impossible” to enforce, the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has warned.

Nov 23, 2020
By Tony Thompson
Ché Donald

Following today’s announcement (November 23) by Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlining a return to the three-tier system on December 2 and a potential break in restrictions over Christmas, the PFEW has called for more clarity to enable fair policing of the restrictions.

Ché Donald, national vice-chair of the PFEW, said: “Police officers are human beings who are doing an extraordinary job in extraordinary circumstances. However, a potential short-term relaxation of Covid-19 regulations and a return to the tier system represents a unique challenge and will be next to impossible to police.

“We will not be trying to spoil people’s fun or ruin Christmas – we’re trying to stop this deadly virus taking more lives. The vast majority of the public understand this and support us.

“However, we’ve also been criticised by some for enforcing too much – while others have said it’s not enough. Once again, the government has introduced changes to the lockdown restrictions and it will be my colleagues who will have to enforce these new rules. A limited break in restrictions may also introduce scenarios where travelling across the U.K. to visit family could be a breach of regulations one day and not the next.

“My colleagues will step up to this challenge – as they have many times since the lockdown began in March. But our message to the government is police officers need clearer and more consistent rules which can be enforced fairly, and the public need clearer instructions so that they know what they are allowed to do within the law.”

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