14 May 2020
New guidelines have been drawn-up to give officers clear direction on this week’s changes to lockdown restrictions.
The Police Federation of England and Wales has worked with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing to produce the guidelines.
“Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a slight variation on the previous rules when he addressed the nation on Sunday evening,” says Tony Wetton, chair of Derbyshire Police Federation, “With people now able to spend more time outside, exercising more freely and engaging in a wide range of activities, the Government still wants everyone to maintain social distancing as a means of preventing the further spread of COVID-19.
“Police officers need to quickly understand the new regulations and continue to work with the public, observing the Four Es of engage, explain, encourage and enforce as a last resort. We have received fantastic support from the vast majority of the public who seem to understand the challenges officers are facing during this crisis.”
John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation, has stressed the need for clear and unambiguous messages from the Government.
He said: “Police officers across the country are doing an incredibly difficult job in particularly trying circumstances. We have never had to deal with anything like this before, yet my colleagues have stepped up to do all they can to protect and support the public in these unprecedented times. We have engaged with people, reassured them and only used enforcement when absolutely necessary.
“Our officers need the continued support of the public – and the media – so they can keep up the amazing work they are doing at this challenging time.”