13 May 2020
The chair of Derbyshire Police Federation Tony Wetton has appeared on BBC Radio Derby to discuss the Government’s new measures following the easing of the lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Sunday evening and introduced new guidelines that encouraged more movement in and around the country.
Some of those changes have warranted criticism for their supposed ambiguity and while Tony admitted they could make officers’ jobs harder, he has also appealed to the Derbyshire public to put common sense at the top of their priorities.
“They are not massive changes that have been introduced and everything is being done very carefully,” he said. “The important thing to remember is that everything we do is to avoid a surge in infections.
“The news that people can take a drive out is welcome for many but that is all conditional on people doing the same things they have been doing for the last seven weeks.
“It’s important that people are not meeting up with more than one person from another household and we maintain social distancing. It relies on the public doing the right thing.
“We have to focus on protecting the NHS from being overwhelmed and it all comes down to how the public behave. Derbyshire Police’s approach to this has been clear since the start. We are supporting a public health campaign.
“It is going to make it more difficult to identify when people are breaching the restrictions now, but our officers’ approach will remain the same. We will engage with people, explain why the restrictions are so important, encourage people to comply and, as a last resort, enforce those restrictions with a fine.
“The important thing is not to mix with other households. That’s how the virus spreads. If you assume you have the virus and the person you are meeting has the virus, that’s the best mentality to have and stop the virus spreading.”
His comments also appeared in a piece in the Derby Evening Telegraph where he told reporters: “People must take personal responsibility in using that extra freedom without risking an increase in infections that could quickly undo all the good work that has been done so far.”