Last Monday, Boris Johnson announced what would be a lockdown of the country, where the police were able to enforce these measures where necessary. Anything deemed non-essential could result in a fine for the offender while strict rules of staying at home are place.
The commissioner of the Metropolitan police has called on retired police officers to come forward to re-join the force due to the current and uncertain nature of the pandemic.
Up and down the country over this week there has been action taken to send people home with fines who were out without essential cause, or even to buy essential items. Twitter videos on Police social media accounts have shown drone footage of people driving to national parks or similar in order to take part in their allotted exercise for the day, however driving to such places is not allowed.
“It’s not a holiday. It’s a lockdown… which means you don't just come here and sunbathe."
— CNN International (@cnni) March 25, 2020
During the week of the lockdown footage showed London police having to disperse gatherings of sunbathers and park dwellers enjoying the sunshine where you can hear the officers announce to “go home”, due to the severity of the pandemic that “it’s a lockdown.”
As of just a few days ago, the police have been given more power to enact tougher punishments to those breaching the rules of the lockdown. Fixed fines of £60 is the current amount for those who choose to go outside for something non-essential, but if paid within 14 days that is lowered to £30. If you are found to be breaching these rules for a second time however, that total is then doubled and similar to a three strike rule, if found out again you can face being arrested.
These lockdown rules are in place to safeguard the spread of the Coronavirus that has caused the global pandemic that has changed the world, with the first of its kind in generations. Because of this police have also been issued to roads across the country to stop cars and enquire to the driver why they’re out.
Police forces across the country are called on to team up to be consistent with the new rules of the lockdown, where it’s been reported that Lancashire police for instance have issued 123 enforcement notices at the weekend alone. Officers across London are patrolling and making sure people are obeying the rules of the lockdown:
Our Special Constables are patrolling open spaces, speaking to people about the importance of social distancing at this time. Vast majority of people doing their bit and staying indoors unless absolutely necessary ?? @MPSSpecials pic.twitter.com/2xiMKjppuK
— Newham MPS | North East BCU (@MPSNewham) March 30, 2020
London police have not officially announced how many arrests or fines they’ve made due to lockdown rules being broken yet. But they are urging Covid-19 related crimes to be reported and to contact the Met Police through their usual channels if you see or are a victim of Covid-19 related crime.