More emergency laws could be introduced, says police…

‘Selfish’ Britons flouting the lockdown risk ‘new, harsher measures’ being brought in for everyone, warn police after officers were forced to break-up barbecues amid coronavirus crisis

  • Ignoring current lockdown measures ‘could mean further emergency laws’
  • People can be issued a £30 fine and could end up in court if they don’t pay
  • Those who flout restrictions could face more than fines, PFEW chairman says
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Britons should expect the introduction of further emergency laws if the Government’s current measures are ignored, police have warned. 

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said tougher restrictions on people’s movements during the crisis would be enforced by police and warned those ignoring them would be fined.

Those who flouted the restrictions could face more than fines if they persisted with their behaviour, the national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) John Apter wrote in The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.

British Transport Police are among the those enforcing stricter measures to help curb the spread of the coronavirus

Despite the nation facing lockdown over the Covid-19 crisis, Britons were seen having barbecues and enjoying the sun yesterday.  

‘If you don’t heed this government’s advice, then it is likely further steps may need to be taken; further laws and emergency legislation could be introduced to clamp down harder on selfishness in the face of the fight against this virus,’ Mr Apter said.

The new measures give officers powers to disperse gatherings of more than two people apart from those who live together. People can be issued an initial £30 fine and could end up in court if they do not pay.

‘You would expect the police’s focus to be dispersal of groups,’ a Downing Street spokesman said.

Police may be given additional powers to stop the spread of Covid-19, the national chairman the police federation has said

Police may be given additional powers to stop the spread of Covid-19, the national chairman the police federation has said

Writing for the Telegraph, Mr Apter asked people not to gather in groups and noted the relationship between the police and the public, adding: ‘We all have a moral duty to uphold the rule of law and look out for each other.’

Part of that duty meant following the current rules so that ‘new, harsher measures’ were not introduced.

He added: ‘Either the public heeds the Prime Minister’s warning and stays at home, or the fight against COVID-19 will be longer and more will likely be affected.’

Regulations will be made by Thursday at the latest to allow police to issue fines under the 1984 Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act for England and Wales.

The emergency legislation going through the House of Commons will provide equivalent powers to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The head of Britain’s biggest police force, Dame Cressida Dick, told the PA news agency that the ‘vast majority’ of people want to obey the new rules.

But Sir Peter Fahy, former chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, told BBC Breakfast there was ‘a huge amount of clarification needed’ on the rules.

Police chiefs warned of phone lines being inundated with calls after the Prime Minister announced the latest measures, with questions about what movements are still permitted.

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