Boris Johnson's new lockdown rules will be impossible to enforce, says Police Federation chief

11 May 2020, 13:44 | Updated: 13 May 2020, 08:16

By Fiona Jones

Police Federation chief called for the Prime Minster to give clarification for both officers and the public on the new lockdown adjustments, saying it seems impossible to enforce.

During a 13-minute speech last night, the Prime Minister insisted now is not the right time to lift the coronavirus lockdown and unveiled the first measures to ease the guidelines.

Police Federation chief John Apter told Nick that policing this crisis has had its challenges as officers have been asked to do things they have never done before, alongside a legislation that is "far from perfect."

But he said in the past week officers have seen a noticeable change on the street, more people in vehicles and more people in public spaces.

"The legislations that we had in place allowed us to deal with some of those issues...ultimately we could issue enforcement notices," Mr Apter said,"but what we have now is an announcement from the Prime Minister with no guidance alongside it - in fact I've heard more from your programme which has given more clarity.

The Prime Minister will set out more detailed plans about easing the lockdown
The Prime Minister will set out more detailed plans about easing the lockdown. Picture: Number 10

"We're waiting on this detailed document that the government's going to issue, but this drip-feeding of guidance for something so crucial for my members to police...is not the way we should be doing business."

He called for "complete crystal clear guidance" from Number 10 not only for the public but for officers, saying that the Prime Minister's announcement last night made the situation "even more difficult if that's at all possible."

"They're out there policing the streets and it is incredibly busy out there and alongside this crisis they're also policing the business as usual things as well," Mr Apter said.

For men and women who police the borders of Scotland and Wales, who are maintaining the "Stay At Home" message, he said this is almost impossible.

He told Nick felt for the public as well as officers because some will be naturally confused and others will take advantage during this period.

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