Former Chief Constable brands it "nonsense" that police will charge homes at Christmas

28 October 2020, 10:18 | Updated: 28 October 2020, 10:22

By Fiona Jones

Former Chief Constable Dr Stuart Hyde assured LBC that the police will deal with rule breaking around Christmas "sensitively" rather than "kicking the door down and seizing the turkey."

Christmas family gatherings are liable to be broken up if they breach lockdown restrictions, police chiefs have warned.

West Midlands police and crime commissioner David Jamieson confirmed that officer will investigate reports of rule-breaking over the festive period.

Eight million people face living under the toughest restrictions by the end of the week, which prevents household mixing, as Nottingham and Warrington are the latest regions to be placed under Tier Three lockdown.

Former Chief Constable Dr Stuart Hyde said that if the police receive reports of a celebration breaking lockdown, they will "find a sensitive way of dealing with it."

"The idea of police officers charging through doors to disrupt people eating their turkey is, quite frankly, nonsense," he said, "I'm absolutely certain that the police officers not just in the West Midlands but across the country have started to get used to dealing with allegations and will deal with it appropriately."

Nick asked at what point the police would get involved and start knocking on doors if it is not at seven people eating a turkey.

"I'm absolutely certain that each of the forces would have looked at the tiers, looked at the regulations, and looked at how they can enforce them positively but making sure they're not creating 'disorder and riots'," Dr Stuart said, telling LBC it is "sensitive" policing that will resolve this difficult issue.

Nick questioned whether tougher policing may come in to force, citing Manchester citizen Carys Ingram who was fined over £6000 for breaching self-isolation rules after she posted a picture of herself on Instagram in a restaurant.

"Had you said to me at the start of the year that would never happen in a country like the United Kingdom, sadly, it has," Nick said.

The former chief responded, "I'm absolutely convinced that the vast majority of requirements to deal with these allegations will be dealt with sensitively, rather than a sort of kicking the door down and seizing the turkey."

Former Conservative leader and MP Iain Duncan Smith wrote of his fears that the UK is turning into a "police state."

"I think if he replaced the 20,000 officers that have been removed over the last 10 years and doubled up on that we might even have a chance of producing that," Dr Stuart quipped, "there is no way this is a police state.

"We all have to comply with the Covid rules, we all have to do our bit and I'm absolutely certain that we will not be and are not living in a police state."