Worn out members of the public, exhausted from strict coronavirus lockdown restrictions, are finding ways to break the rules – as police have been accused of stalking individuals rather than crowds.
Some police forces have come under fire for their policy enforcement.
Two 27-year-old friends Jessica Allen and Eliza Moore were fined £ 200 after being categorized as a picnic with a cup of tea five miles from their home.
But the hundreds of crowds lining the streets of Crosby to play the local team Marine AFC’s FA Cup duel against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday saw no punishment.
It came as:
- A visitor was fined after eating a kebab in his car Cheddar Gorge
- A landlord was approached after giving a beer to a delivery man
- Police stopped a woman who was driving from Staffordshire to Wales for a beach trip
- A pretty village in Gateshead was “raided” by non-locals walking
- Rush hour traffic in Lockdown London reached its highest level ever
Jessica Allen and Eliza Moore, both 27, alleged officials were looking for a way to punish them
Crowds of football fans in Crosby before the Spurs-Marine clash were not penalized
At Gateshead, hundreds of additional visitors flocked to the area for unhindered walking
Members of the public asked why officials appear to hit individuals harder than some groups.
Gary Blackburn said, “If you want people to be banned completely, they should say so instead of hiding behind leaks and the police.
“It is pathetic to arrest or punish simple targets for walks with a coffee, etc.”
Another added: “The problem is that we no longer feel that the police are on our side
‘The different monitoring of the BLM marches and the anti-lockdown marches has shown that a two-stage monitoring is taking place
“The police seem to have easy targets. Like bullies. ‘
Hardyal Dhindsa, Police Commissioner and Crime Commissioner for the Derbyshire Police Department, admitted that officials “may be doing something wrong” in fines for violators and that a recent county incident could have been treated differently.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said the officials had a “very difficult job in really difficult circumstances,” with the “constantly changing” Covid-19 restrictions.
He said, “It is no wonder that under such circumstances, they sometimes go wrong in trying to do the best job possible.”
When asked if it was wrong, he said, “After looking at it and hearing what I know, it looks like we might have handled it differently.
Colin Robinson, the landlord of the Chestnut Tree Inn pub in Worcester, was visited by the police
Mr Robinson said he gave a delivery man a beer and then visited by officials
What is a “reasonable excuse” to go outside? And can the police force their way into your house if they suspect that the rules are being broken?
According to the rules in England, you are not allowed to leave your home or be outside your home unless you have a “reasonable excuse”. This is regulated by law.
The police can take action against you if you leave the house without a “reasonable apology” and impose a fine (Fixed Penalty).
You can get a fixed fine of £ 200 for the first offense, which doubles to a maximum of £ 6,400 for further offenses.
A “reasonable apology” includes:
- Work – You can only leave home for work if it is inappropriate for you to do your work from home
- Volunteering – You can also leave home to do volunteer or community service
- Essential Activities – You can leave home to buy things in stores or get services. You can also leave home to do these things on behalf of a disabled or vulnerable person, or someone who is self-isolating
- Education and Childcare – You can only leave home for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children that you are eligible to attend.
- Meeting with Others and Care – You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble (if you are legally allowed to form one), to informally care for children under the age of 14 under a child care bubble (e.g. to Parents to work) in order to look after disabled or vulnerable people
- Exercise – You can continue to exercise alone, with someone else, or with your household or support bladder, and not outside of your area. The government advises you to exercise only once a day, but the law doesn’t restrict it.
- Medical Reasons – You can leave home for medical reasons, including a COVID-19 test for medical appointments and emergencies
- Harm and Compassionate Visits – You can leave the house to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness, or to avoid the risk of harm (like domestic violence).
- You can also leave the house to visit someone who is dying, someone in a nursing home (if this is permitted under the guidance of the nursing home), a hospice or hospital, or to accompany them to a doctor’s appointment
- Animal welfare reasons – You can leave your home for animal welfare reasons, e.g. B. To contact a veterinary service for advice or treatment
- Communal Worship and Life Events – You can leave home to attend or attend a place of worship for communal worship, funeral or event related to a death, burial site or memorial garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony.
There are other reasonable excuses.
For example, you may leave home to comply with legal obligations or to engage in activities related to buying, selling, renting or renting residential property, or when it is reasonable to vote in an election or referendum.
In Scotland, coronavirus legislation gives the police the power to force people into people’s homes if a “reasoned suspicion” rule is violated.
In England, however, they can only enter under “exceptional circumstances” even if they believe someone inside is contagious.
Otherwise they need an arrest warrant.
“But it is an operational matter. I have asked the police chief to look into these cases. If the police have acted in error, the fines can be waived by them.”
He said that when a mistake was found the police were “big enough” to apologize.
“When the police come into contact with the public, the public is essentially very compliant and following orders.
“When you think of the hundreds and thousands of phone calls to the police in Covid-19, the number of criminal charges identified is low.
“The problem is how the lockdown rules and regulations apply, and the review of those rules needs to be considered.
‘This lockdown is not the same as the March lockdown.
“If you look at the traffic on our streets, it’s still pretty high because people are still going to work.
“The activity on your streets and in our rooms is much more than the lockdown we had in March.”
Ms. Allen and Ms. Moore said this morning that they had no idea they’d done anything wrong.
Their fine, which is being reviewed, has not yet been sent to them after the excitement.
Eliza said of the police when they approached them to ask questions, “I think their ultimate goal was to fine us. They were looking for information that could justify us breaking the rules. ‘
Jessica continued, “After they interviewed, they read us our rights. As two people who are law abiding citizens, you absolutely fear that I never meant to be on the wrong side of the law. They read our rights and said that whatever we say will be kept as evidence and later used in court. And I just remember looking at Eliza and thinking, “How did that happen?”
Meanwhile, a landlord serving free meals to the homeless was visited by authorities after handing out a free beer in the most recent example of strong national lockdown enforcement.
Colin Robinson, the landlord of the Chestnut Tree Inn pub on Lansdowne Road, said the police had been called into the pub and the officers took his name down before leaving.
He told Worcester News, “Yes, we had two people here. One person delivered a barrel of beer, one made music in the recording studio. I gave the guy a beer because he brought back a keg he owed me and the other was up with the music system. ‘
In Gateshead, a village was inundated with visitors walking in picturesque Chopwell Wood.
The streets were full of cars, even though the guidelines told people to stay where they were.
Local Steph Davies Morely said, “So selfish and sad! As someone who shields me, I am honestly broken to see that. ‘
In Wales, a woman was caught breaking coronavirus rules after traveling nearly 70 miles from Staffordshire to North Wales to go to the beach.
The police first stopped the woman in Prestatyn after her “driving style” caught the officers’ attention.
It was about 67 miles from Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire.
After talking to the driver, police officers said they found she did not have a full driver’s license and was driving without insurance.
The vehicle was confiscated and officials reported the driver for three crimes, including driving without a license, driving without insurance and violating Covid-19 regulations.
North Wales Police said: “We noticed this vehicle because of the way it was driving.
The vehicle had driven from Newcastle-under-Lyme to Prestatyn because the driver wanted to go to the beach.
Chopwell Wood in Gateshead was visited by numerous visitors over the weekend
Local resident Steph Davies Morely described the Flood online as “selfish and sad”
It also turned out that she had no insurance and only a temporary license. Vehicle confiscated and reported for three crimes. ‘
A visitor was fined after eating a kebab in one of the most beautiful spots in the southwest.
Avon and Somerset police officers patrolled Cheddar Gorge over the weekend to enforce the national lockdown and look out for rule violations.
In a tweet on Saturday night, the armed forces’ Sedgemoor team said “multiple vehicles were distributed” and seven people were fined for violating COVID-19 legislation.
The tweet added, “Traveling from Bristol to Cheddar to eat kebabs in your vehicle is not a reasonable excuse! Stay safe’
The police did not say whether the driver traveled alone or whether there were passengers.
As part of the current national coronavirus lockdown, people are again being urged to stay home to protect the NHS and save lives.
In the Cheddar Gorge, kebabs were attacked again at the weekend
While people travel from all over to visit Cheddar Village and walk the gorge, people should only go there if they are there.
The coronavirus rules state: “You are only allowed to leave your home if you have a reasonable excuse (e.g. for work or educational purposes).
“If you have to travel, stay local – that is, you shouldn’t travel outside of your village, town, or part of a town where you live – and try to reduce the number of trips you make overall Companies.”
Exercise outdoors is one of the “reasonable excuses” the government uses as a reason for leaving your home.
However, the government advises: “This should be done locally if possible.
“You can travel a short distance in your area to do this, if necessary (for example, to gain access to an open space).”
Restaurants and cafes will have to close under the national lockdown, but takeaway food and deliveries are still allowed.