Senior Scotland Yard officials have announced a new ‘tough’ lockdown policy to arrest and question people if they are on the streets, and to issue fines on the spot if they cannot provide a reasonable excuse to be away from home.
The London Telegraph reports that the London MET Police issued a statement noting that ‘with fewer’ reasonable excuses’ for people to move away from their homes within settlements, Londoners can expect agents are more curious as to why they are seeing them. “
“When officers identify people without a legal reason to be away from their homes, they can expect officers to move to law enforcement more quickly,” the statement said.
The new lockdown laws, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a televised briefing on Monday, have yet to be debated or passed by parliament.
Police now have the power to issue fines of £ 200 on the spot, which can be doubled whenever a lockdown ‘violation’ occurs.
Fines of up to £ 10,000 can also be imposed on anyone organizing rallies or house parties.
Scotland Yard says fines will be more easily distributed, even to those who simply don’t wear a mask.
“After ten months of this pandemic, the number of people who are really unaware of the restrictions and why they are in place is extremely low,” commented MET Deputy Police Commissioner Matt Twist, adding that the responsibility of the police is to “preserve life”.
“We know the overwhelming majority of Londoners will do the right thing by staying home, wearing masks and not congregating, but a small minority continue to ignore the rules put in place to protect the NHS and save lives, ”Twist added.
“We can no longer spend our time explaining or encouraging people to follow rules that they willfully and dangerously break,” he continued, stressing that the police will no longer be lenient with those who dare to leave their homes. .
“Less than a month ago, we launched a new digital fine system, which allows officers to issue fines on the spot faster and more easily,” Twist warned, adding that “if people continue to break the rules, they put themselves, their families and communities are more at risk, our officers are ready to act decisively.
John Apter, the president of the Police Federation, said policing of the third lockdown will be stepped up, noting: “It will be easier for the police to have a consistent rule that people have to follow throughout. the country, which means it’s easier for people. to understand and respect what is expected of them. “
Apter specifically identified “anti-lockdown, anti-vaccine protesters,” saying “we now have a hardcore element that is against the rules.”
“The majority of the public will do what is expected of them, but I think there is a real problem with viruses and lockdown fatigue. There is real frustration and the police are often confronted with this problem because people get angry when they are stopped, ”Apter added.
Evidence of escalating lockdown policing has already been seen with dozens of police officers walking through Hyde Park militarily before stopping to ask people for ID:
In an incident at Marble Arch, cops questioned an old woman for feeding pigeons:
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