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Hertfordshire Police Federation

Demand for clearer guidance is right, says Fed chair

31 March 2021

Hertfordshire Police Federation chair Geoff Bardell says the national chair is right to demand clearer guidance on the new eased lockdown restrictions which came into effect in England on Monday.

He also says John Apter’s criticism of previous advice was fully justified as it was ‘too woolly’ and made police officers’ work even more difficult.

The latest changes in coronavirus guidance included the following:

  • Groups of six people or a group of any size from two households can meet outdoors
  • Organised outdoor sports activities can resume, as can outdoor childcare, and
  • Organised parent and children groups are allowed outside for up to 15 people with under fives not included in that number.

Geoff said: “Differing advice from the respective UK Governments is always going to be confusing to some extent. But we asked the Prime Minister not to repeat the lack of clarity of earlier guidance which was woolly and made police officers’ work even more difficult.

“Policing this pandemic has been tough enough but to try to reinforce vague guidelines that were constantly changing was exhausting for my colleagues. 

“There have been more than 60 rule changes so it’s no surprise that the public and, indeed officers themselves, are unsure about what’s allowed or not allowed. The lockdown lifting guidelines now need to be absolutely, irrefutably clear so that people cannot either inadvertently fall foul of them or deliberately take advantage of the situation.”

Appearing on Good Morning Britain and Sky News earlier this week, the national chair said: “There are obviously differences between the English rules and those from the Scottish and Welsh Governments, so there is some confusion and we’re used to that. The problem is that this causes frustrations and my colleagues bear the brunt of that out on the streets. 

“There’s been an awful lot of confusion about what’s happening, and that is why I am calling on the Prime Minister and the devolved Governments to be crystal clear on the guidance.” 

John also repeated his call for police officers and other frontline workers to be prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine, saying: “We have some large scale events coming up in the coming months where hundreds, if not thousands, of police officers will be deployed around the country and yet none of them are being prioritised for the vaccine. It’s a real betrayal by the Government.”

 

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