UK lockdown: Nick Ferrari questions police chief over officers enforcing new rules

24 March 2020, 15:00 | Updated: 24 March 2020, 15:02

By Fiona Jones

Nick Ferrari questions police chief over the new lockdown rules and how officers will enforce them.

The Prime Minister has announced that from Friday police will be able to fine people who break the government's lockdown rules.

Police chief Martin Hewitt is leading the police response to the lockdown which will involve officers being able to fine those breaking the rules and disperse gatherings of over two people.

Read more: What are the rules of Boris Johnson's lockdown and when do they end?

Mr Hewitt advised people simply follow the lockdown guidance but "if they don't there clearly needs to be a regime to make sure people follow these rules...we will police in the way we always police, it is about engaging with people."

Nick questioned what the police would do if heard knew a wedding was happening at the weekend with 35 people attending.

Mr Hewitt reflected it was "highly unlikely" weddings are going to carry on but if one were to be going on, "then obviously we would take action to prevent that from happening."

Nick asked why he presumed people would be sensible and heed to the advice.

"Ultimately, if people are ignoring that advice, which is going to cause people to lose their lives, then we need to be able to act," Mr Hewitt said, "We need to work with other enforcement agencies that have their responsibilities but...we need to stop people mixing in the way they have been mixing because this is causing the disease to be transmitted."

Nick surmised that the semantics of Boris Johnson's statements have changed from people "should" stay inside to people "must" stay inside and asked Mr Hewitt if he was expecting a mood shift.

He agreed that is precisely right, "People need to work with us, with the government, and to abide by the rules that have been put there now. In the ultimate, if people are ignoring those rules and by that they're endangering themselves and importantly endangering others, then we clearly need to act within the law."

Mr Hewitt predicted that the new laws will be enacted by the end of the week and assured Nick that even then the police will act "with discretion."