Met Commissioner insists there is no need for greater police powers during coronavirus

11 April 2020, 09:13 | Updated: 11 April 2020, 10:18

By Seán Hickey

The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police believes that the general public are listening to and obeying rules of social distancing very well.

Dame Cressida Dick was asked by Andrew Castle how the Metropolitan Police have been dealing with the coronavirus reaction and how the public are behaving during this time.

"London has been reacting very strongly and very well" the Police Commissioner told Andrew. She insisted that Londoners have for the most part listened to the advice of the government and have made enforcing the rules very easy for the police.

"We have been able to maintain a strong and resilient service" Dame Cressida Dick said to Andrew. She made sure to point out the work of the police and how they have worked excellently to maintain a good level of service for the public during this crisis and commended the work of her colleagues.

Andrew asked about crimes that have plagued the police service historically and how the numbers look during the coronavirus crisis, such as knife crime. According to Ms. Dick, knife crime has reduced significantly in the last couple of weeks which can be seen as a direct impact of the social distancing guidelines implemented during the coronavirus pandemic.

Met Police Commissioner speaks to LBC
Met Police Commissioner speaks to LBC. Picture: PA

Andrew moved to find out how the Metropolitan Police plans to tighten its grip on anyone breaking the rules and what plans are in place to increase police powers.

Dame Cressida Dick told Andrew that the police have issued "tens of fines" during the lockdown so far and, in comparison to our European counterparts this has been remarkably low. She pointed out this as evidence that it isn't currently necessary to increase police powers.

The commissioner added that the police service has "not asked for further powers and have no plans to do so" in order to enforce the lockdown measures.

Andrew acknowledged that there is no need at the moment, but asked if there are intentions within the police service to come down harder on offenders in the weeks to come if they're seen to be flouting the rules. Police Commissioner Cressida Dick insisted that there is still no intention, but warned "if we have to be firm to uphold the law, we will be".

You can listen to Dame Cressida Dick's full LBC interview above.