Police will 'target' small core of people 'who just will not listen' to Covid rules

6 January 2021, 18:41

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Police have been dealing with a 'small core of individuals who just will not listen' to the Covid rules, according to one serving officer.

After it was announced that Londoners could be stopped by police to explain why they are away from home during the latest coronavirus lockdown, LBC spoke to the Chair of the Metropolitan Police Federation.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Met Police said the public should expect officers to be more "inquisitive" about why they are "out and about" during England's third national lockdown.

Eddie Mair asked Ken Marsh what would happen when people were challenged and then claimed they were exempt but did not have paperwork.

"We'll carry on with the enforcement and it's for them to prove," the policing representative said it was "straightforward."

Mr Marsh said officers would continue to enforce the Covid legislation until the person being challenged was able to provide proof they were exempt from the mask-wearing rule.

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The Federation Chair said officers were having to deal with a "small core" of individuals who "just will not listen," adding these people were "causing pain and heartache for others."

He added that these were the people the police will be "targeting."

Pledging to deal with people who are not sticking to the rules, the officer said it would be "for them to explain to us, rather than us having to shy away."

"We will take action until you prove it now."

Yesterday police said they broke up a rave in a warehouse with 150 people present.

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Police have said they will take stricter enforcement measures
Police have said they will take stricter enforcement measures. Picture: PA

Earlier a Met Police spokesperson said Londoners breaching Covid legislation "are increasingly likely to face fines", adding: "Londoners can expect officers to be more inquisitive as to why they see them out and about.

"Where officers identify people without a lawful reason to be away from home they can expect officers to move more quickly to enforcement."

Although officers will still apply the "4 Es" approach - engaging, explaining, encouraging and then enforcing - Scotland Yard said it had issued "refreshed instructions" to hand out fines "more quickly to anyone committing obvious, wilful and serious breaches" like those attending or organising parties or other large illegal gatherings.