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Wiltshire Police Federation

Federation Chair: Government must learn from mistakes with new Covid-19 regulations

22 February 2021

Wiltshire Police Federation says the Government must learn from its past mistakes by ensuring any new Covid-19 regulations are clear for the public to understand.

The re-opening of schools and the lifting of some lockdown regulations were announced by the Government today.

Wiltshire Police Federation Chair Mark Andrews says the Government must make sure the new rules are clear.

It comes as a recent PFEW survey reveals just one in ten officers across the country thought their new powers introduced during the last lockdown had been clear for people to understand.

“As police officers we are expected to enforce the legislation set down by the Government,” Mark told the Swindon Advertiser.

“In Wiltshire, we have strived to work with our communities to ensure they fully understand what is expected before we use our enforcement powers.

“We have seen an increase in the number of penalty notices issued for breaches over recent weeks.  This is hard to understand when we are dealing with a simple message in relation to lockdown. 

"What is worrying our officers is the confusion which could arise once we start to come out of lockdown if the Government doesn’t learn from its previous mistakes around clarity of message.

“The rules and guidelines need to be echoed and followed by every Government Department and Minister.”

Mark’s calls for clarity have been backed by PFEW Chair John Apter, who has urged the Government ‘not to repeat the lack of clarity over last year’s pandemic measures’ ahead of revealing the nation’s path out of Lockdown Three.