Police Federation

Lockdown law guidelines for officers launched

Federation works to help make changes as clear as possible on complex matter

1 June 2020

Stock image of officer

As officers begin to wrap their heads around a third set of changes to eased lockdown legislation, the Federation publishes guidelines which will hopefully bring some clarity.

Amendments to the Health Protection Regulations have come into effect from today (June 1) in England and Wales giving members of the public the freedom to meet up in larger groups – providing they are outside and are social distancing.

Groups of six are allowed in England and can consist of multiple mixed households. In Wales there is no limit on the number of people – however it can only be with one other household.

In a bid to make ever-morphing legislation clearer for officers, the National Police Chiefs’ Council has drawn up guidelines for colleagues in both countries alongside the Federation and the College of Policing.

Officers are advised to continue to take a common-sense approach whilst following the ‘Four E’s; Engage, Explain, Encourage and, as a last resort, Enforce.

As people are now permitted to meet up in private outdoor spaces, it also sets out what officers can and cannot do when responding to a possible breach.

National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales John Apter said: “This is the third time our colleagues have had to rapidly adapt to changes in the law; and I have to say they are doing an incredible job.

“This is not a straight-forward task for officers; the legislation is complex, confusing and is an awful lot to take on board overnight – but I know they will continue to do their best in these trying times.”

He added: “We have worked tirelessly alongside the chiefs and the College, feeding any concerns back to the Government, and, in turn, created guidelines for officers which can hopefully bring some clarity and help them do the job they are so committed to.

“Throughout the pandemic our officers have always followed the Four E’s – encouraging members of the public to do the right thing and only enforcing as a last resort. I would urge members of the public to continue to stick to the advice to support the emergency services and the NHS who are 100% committed to fight this pandemic and keep people safe,” Mr Apter concluded.

The useful factsheets are available to view on any digital device on the go or can be printed.

View the guidelines in England here, or for the Welsh guidelines click here.

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