Ordinary people will enforce "new normal" former NYPD commissioner tells LBC

23 May 2020, 09:54

By Seán Hickey

This former New York police commissioner told LBC that the general public have a duty to enforce social distancing rules as lockdown is eased in the US.

Nick Ferrari was speaking to the former New York crime commissioner Bill Bratten on how the United States have responded to the coronavirus crisis and how the country is adapting to lift lockdown. "I would call it the evolving normal because we don't yet know what it will be" he began by telling Nick Ferrari that there are no definites yet.

Nick questioned Mr Bratten on "how should social distancing be enforced by the police" but the former NYPD commissioner insisted that "it needs to be enforced by the public themselves" rather than police monitoring people.

Mr Bratten made the point that early on in the fight against coronavirus that it was easy to monitor social distancing and maintain lockdown rules because people had stayed indoors, but now that "every state in the United States" is opening up there is simply not enough capacity in law enforcement to make sure everyone is abiding by the rules.

"Social distancing is gonna be very difficult to enforce" he said, insisting that there will be a need for the American people to make sure that everyone is sticking to regulations so we can ease out of lockdown seamlessly.

This NYPD commissioner said the public will play a part in enforcing new coronavirus rules
This NYPD commissioner said the public will play a part in enforcing new coronavirus rules. Picture: PA

Nick wanted to know how the former commissioner would describe the mood in New York, as lockdown lifts in the worst affected state in the US.

Mr Bratten told Nick that New Yorkers are "anxious and tentative" as lockdown is lifted in the state, because they are worried about not only a second wave, but the possibility of people ignoring lockdown rules.

"Many people are still using good judgement" he told LBC, but stressed that with restrictions easing comes the risk of people who have not been affected by Covid-19 disregarding safety measures.

The former commissioner told Nick that it is a "very different" situation in other states that may have not seen a single case of coronavirus. These people could move from state to state and carry and transmit the virus because they aren't as cautious of preventative measures as people in New York may be. For reasons such as this, Mr Bratten could see the general public being a huge factor in the "new normal" being maintained in the US.

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