Police Federation

Military is not what policing has asked for and not what it needs

PFEW National Chair responds to Prime Minister’s Covid-19 announcement

22 September 2020


Policing has not asked for the assistance of military support to deal with a package of newly introduced Covid-19 restrictions which have been announced by the Government.

National Chair John Apter

National Chair John Apter

That was the view of the National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales as a raft of Coronavirus measures were introduced by Prime Minster Boris Johnson in a further bid to curb the virus.  

Extra funding for police and law enforcement formed part of the package aimed at ensuring new rules were adhered to. The measures for England included: “the option to draw military support where required to free up the police”, Mr Johnson confirmed. 

Reacting to the announcement, PFEW National Chair John Apter said: “More funding for policing this pandemic is much needed.  

“The service needs all the help it can get, as financial pressures on Forces are increasing day-by-day - but today’s announcement lacked any detail. We will wait for that before we celebrate too much.  

“Since the start of this pandemic police and military have been working together on logistics. This has and continues to work well; but the announcement from the Prime Minister has been seized by some as a suggestion that the military will be on streets helping the police to enforce Covid regulations. This is not what policing has asked for and not what it needs.” 

Mr Apter added: “This is an ever-changing situation and police officers will continue to do an incredible job at adapting quickly. 

“The vast majority of the public complied with the restrictions placed on them. These restrictions affect us all, but this is about keeping each other as safe as possible. I would hope the public will carry on doing the right thing to help protect fellow citizens to minimise the spread of the virus,” he concluded. 

 Other measures included: 

  • Increase in penalty for not wearing a mask or breaking the ‘rule of six’ to £200  
  • Pubs, bars and restaurants to close at 10pm
  • Advice for office workers to work from home where possible  
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