Caller asks the Commissioner: Should proof of mask exemption be mandatory?

19 January 2021, 14:22

By Fiona Jones

Should people have to provide proof if they are exempt from wearing masks? This caller, who works in a local supermarket, puts it to Dame Cressida Dick.

During a regular Call the Commissioner phone in LBC listener Louise from Harrow asked whether people should have to provide proof when entering shops if they are exempt from wearing masks.

Louise works in a local supermarket and said that if masks are mandatory GP exemption forms should be as well.

She asked: "What are the police doing to make sure people are actually exempt?"

Dame Cressida Dick acknowledged that this is a "difficult" issue and said the majority of people who do not wear a mask publicly do have an exemption.

"We're sure that there are other people who aren't and there are people who are being offensive and that's completely unacceptable," Dame Cressida said, acknowledging that while "many people" feel this should be the case it is a matter for the Government.

"What I can say is that if you have somebody in your shop're worried about them or they're violent, you should call the police. If this is a persistent problem in your shop for some reason then talk to your local neighbourhood officer.

"We will come and assist as will the local authority. We can't patrol and won't be patrolling all supermarkets, that will be impossible and not appropriate.

"I think there is a responsibility on stores and store owners and store managers, I don't underestimate that on occasion it can be a difficult job for somebody like you who is in the front line of this."