Police services will be heavily stretched in second lockdown, Police Federation chief warns

1 November 2020, 10:34

By Seán Hickey

The Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales welcomed the Government's tighter restrictions on England, but feared police will face the wrath of disgruntled citizens.

"The issue we have as policing now is that we have a sort of virus fatigue and people are just fed up with the rules...we as police officers just have to pick up the pieces of that," warned John Apter, the Chair of the Police Federation.

He was happy to tell Andrew Castle that police "use enforcement as a last resort and long may that continue," but noted that during lockdown, the "lockdown fatigue" factor meant police had to deal with people pushing back against restrictions.

"People are really frustrated and we - my colleagues have to deal with that."

Andrew wondered "how does that manifest itself" noting that the press are quick to pick up public backlash on restrictions.

Mr Apter told Andrew that mass protests during lockdown proved difficult to manage for police and he believes these will pose problems again this time around.

Read More: England prepares for second national lockdown lasting until December

John Apter predicted tough times ahead for the police service as a second lockdown in England looms
John Apter predicted tough times ahead for the police service as a second lockdown in England looms. Picture: PA

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He reminded Andrew that over 90% think the police have dealt with the pandemic very well and it is a minority of people that make policing difficult.

"We deal with people who don't have common sense and that ends up on the front page," he said.

Addressing the public, Mr Apter pleaded "please, please, let's support each other" in order to get back to normal functioning as soon as possible.