UK police have admitted they have no legal authority to impose a travel ban in and out of London and the South East after the government instituted a third lockdown, canceling Christmas for millions of people.
The London Telegraph reports that officials from the Police Federation say officers do not have the power to stop people from traveling or stop cars and to check whether citizens are ‘illegally’ visiting relatives and friends for Christmas.
“It depends heavily on public compliance. The restriction is not to travel, it is to leave home (without a reasonable excuse as defined), ”a police source told The Telegraph.
“The more reasonable excuses there are, the more opportunities there will be to seek an exemption where there really is none. It will therefore be very difficult to apply, ”added the source.
In addition, the police can only stop motorists if they have witnessed a traffic violation.
There is no “Covid power” to stop vehicles. There won’t be much we can do if a lot of people hit the roads on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. We will not close the roads to prevent it, ”the police source said.
“I would accept legislation in place, but as a police officer who has been doing this job for a long time, it is not enforceable,” added Ken Marsh, president of the Met Police Federation.
“Your functionality to do your duty is next to impossible if they don’t tell you the truth. If they think they are going to be fined, they will not tell you the truth, ”March added, referring to anyone arrested by police.
Despite the confession, the government said it was counting on the police to enforce the “level four” restrictions, which amounts to a total lockdown.
Matt Hancock, the Secretary of Health, has proclaimed that police must prevent people from getting on trains or cars to exit level 4 areas.
“Of course. It is the responsibility of the police to uphold the law,” Hancock said.
The government’s cancellation of Christmas over the weekend, based on evidence of a more contagious ‘mutant strain’ of COVID that has not been presented to MPs, scientists or the public, has caused a massive exodus from London in the hours before the lockdown went into effect. .
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