Priti Patel defends 'strong' police enforcement of lockdown rules

Priti Patel has defended the way police have fined for lockdown violations, stating that “strong enforcement is required”.

Police tactics came under scrutiny after Derbyshire police fined £ 200 fines to two women who drove separately to walk in a remote beauty spot about five miles from their homes.

One of the potential hikers, Jessica Allen, told the BBC that the officers also informed her that a hot drink she had brought with her was not allowed as it was “classified as a picnic”.

The force has since confirmed that it will review all firm criminal complaints issued during the new national lockdown in England after receiving clarifications from the National Police Chiefs’ Council on coronavirus regulations.

West Mercia Police also tweeted Friday that Shropshire people should be aware that a snowball fight “is obviously not a legitimate reason to be out of your house,” warning that such cold weather frolicking “is likely “Resulting in would be a £ 200 fine for violating the lockdown rules.

But although former police chiefs argued that public confidence had been “damaged” by the actions of the Derbyshire Constabulary, the Home Secretary praised officials’ efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Former Durham Police Chief Mike Barton told BBC Breakfast, “In order for the public to comply with the law, they must think and see that the police are acting fairly.”

Ms. Patel said: “Our police officers work tirelessly to protect us. Not only do they continue to bring criminals off our streets, but they also play a vital role in controlling the spread of the virus.”

“The vast majority of the public supported this huge national effort and followed the rules.

“However, the tragic number of new cases and deaths this week shows that when people are clearly breaking these rules, strong enforcement remains necessary to ensure our country recovers from this deadly virus.”

“Enforcing these rules saves lives. It is that simple. Officials will continue to engage with the public across the country and will not hesitate to take action if necessary.”

Their comments follow a report in the Daily Telegraph indicating that ministers in England are considering “crackdown” to pressure more people to stay home after record daily coronavirus deaths were reported on Thursday.


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