Police will only enforce facemasks "as a last resort", Cressida Dick tells LBC

22 July 2020, 08:57 | Updated: 22 July 2020, 11:34

By Adrian Sherling

The Commissioner of the Met Police has told LBC that shopkeepers can call the police if people are refusing to wear a facemask in their stores.

From Friday, everyone must wear a face covering in shops in England or face a fine. It is already mandatory in Scotland.

One shopkeeper phoned Call The Commissioner on LBC to ask whether the Met would police the wearing of masks.

And Dame Cressida insisted that officers would assist if shopkeepers were concerned about an incident as the law comes in.

Cressida Dick said people should call the police if they had concerns about people not wearing a mask in their shop
Cressida Dick said people should call the police if they had concerns about people not wearing a mask in their shop. Picture: PA / LBC

She told Nick Ferrari: "Our approach to the regulations throughout has been to only use enforcement as a last resort. So when people were highly restricted on going out, we were out talking to them and the vast, vast majority did comply.

"As I understand, the vast majority are complying in wearing masks on public transport.

"We will be working with the retail trade right across London. They employed security guards and they managed to keep social distancing and sensible queueing. They've only called us rarely to assist and that is what I hope happens here.

"Calling the police should be a last resort for dealing with a mask issue. But the law is a law.

"If you've tried everything and you can't get the person out of the store and they're getting aggressive, yes of course you should call the police.

"My hope is that the vast majority of people will comply and people will be shamed into leaving the store.

"If somebody is concerned about what's going on in their store, then yes, of course they should call the police and we will try to assist."

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