Priti Patel assisted police today to confront people outside of supermarkets on parking benches, stop cars to check that all passengers are from the same household, and knock on doors to look for parties, while officials promised to shut them all punish who violate Boris Johnson's lockdown laws.
The Home Secretary spoke out after Scotland Yard announced officials would question citizens why they were not locked in their homes after four friends were fined £ 800 for driving the same car to McDonald’s in Northamptonshire received.
And yesterday in Maidenhead, Berkshire, the police stopped the drivers outside Tesco and handed them leaflets asking, "Why are you here?" in a clampdown on non-essential travel – although grocery shopping is allowed.
Ms. Patel says the police should stop people who are outside from asking them why they are not home and explain to them that they shouldn't necessarily be outside unless there is an important reason . She adds that it is "right" for the police to confront people sitting on park benches. In the past two weeks, more than 800 fines have been imposed for "outrageous" coronavirus rule violations, she said.
The hard line came despite Tory MPs voicing their anger at the brutal restrictions on civil liberties, calling them "pettifogging and malicious". During a tense debate last night, a number of Conservatives said they would not support "criminalizing" people trying to sit with a fishing rod in a park or by a lake.
Ms. Patel told BBC Radio 4's Today program: “The police did this (they turned to people on benches). Let's be very clear. During this coronavirus pandemic, during the last lockdown, police asked individuals why they were out and if they should be out when the news was to stay home. "
Ms. Patel refused to speculate on whether there would be any easing of restrictions before March 31, as Boris Johnson tacitly extended his third national lockdown and Tory's calls for "malicious" rules to be relaxed after his initial review on March 15 February went back.
"I would like to say, of course we would like to see and say that, but it is not for us to speculate," Ms. Patel told LBC. "We all just have to get rid of this virus, we have to reduce the R-factor … it's a wretched, wretched disease, it really is. Right now, the government and NHS focus is on getting the stab in the arms of the people. & # 39;
The Met says anyone who does not wear masks in public buildings or who is outside for no appropriate reason will face a solid sentence without warning. Anyone unable to come up with a lawful apology will be fined up to £ 6,400 and those caught in the required areas without a face covering will also be beaten with a £ 200 or more criminal complaint on the spot.
According to the blocking rules, two people from different households can meet in public and go for a walk. Large gatherings are forbidden and illegal as everyone needs a "good reason" not to be home.
A West Midlands police officer was even stopped by his own colleagues and asked where he was going. Some critics asked if Birmingham became East Germany by the 1970s, and National Police Chiefs Council chairman Martin Hewitt said enforcement of Covid restrictions "depleted" police resources to the limit.
When the police promised a zero tolerance approach, it also appeared today:
- The police enforcing the new Covid lockdown laws will punish people if they are first caught, if they are not wearing face coverings or if they are outside for no appropriate reason.
- The approval of Covid vaccine batches is to be accelerated drastically in an enormous push for the stab campaign. Amid growing concerns over the slow pace of rollout, sources said testing would be cut from as little as 20 days to just four days.
- The round-the-clock vaccinations are set to be canceled, however, as the NHS currently has no plans to hand out shocks on Sundays despite desperate needs.
- London's hospitals will be overwhelmed by Covid-19 in less than two weeks, even at best, an official briefing warns.
- Schools are now planning to hold their own mock exams after Gavin Williamson failed to explain how staff can accurately assess GCSE and A-level students as teachers almost unanimously called for the education secretary to resign. This was announced today.
Five police officers surround a man in Hammersmith tube station today to crack down on people who are avoiding the lockdown
The Met has vowed to stop warning people and punish them with fixed charges of £ 200 for initial offenses
Police are patrolling Hyde Park in central London today as the Met said those who fail to wear masks in public buildings or who are outside for no appropriate reason will receive a solid sentence without warning
Covid guards are speaking to the public in Birmingham city center today as police vowed to punish anyone who shouldn't be out of the house
Thames Valley Police have apologized for the behavior of an officer who "was a little bit keen" to hand out leaflets outside a Tesco in Maidenhead asking drivers, "Why are you here today?"
Priti Patel said police should confront people on benches in the park if they are suspected of breaking the rules when two women met in York
Ms. Patel (pictured today) says police should stop people who are outside to ask them why they are not home and explain to them that they shouldn't necessarily be outside unless so was for important reasons.
The audience was perplexed that the Minister of the Interior was of the opinion that the police approaching people on park benches was the right thing to do
Four people caught in the same car on their way to McDonald’s breakfast were fined £ 800 for violating coronavirus laws
Priti Patel is refusing to rule out a general ban on non-essential travel to and from the UK as ministers are warned that in some countries it is IMPOSSIBLE to get a Covid test before arrival
Priti Patel today declined to rule out a general ban on unnecessary travel to and from the UK as ministers seek to tighten border controls.
When asked about the idea, the interior minister said the government was reviewing "measures at the border" and that further announcements would be made in the coming days.
Boris Johnson confirmed earlier this week that a requirement must be put in place that arrivals test negative amid concerns about the global spread of new variants.
However, it is not expected that the system – likely this means people will have to test negative within 72 hours of departure – will not be presented until the end of the week or even later, with the implementation date unclear. Experts have warned that there are serious practical problems with the possibility of 'zero' in countries like Barbados. get short-term access to a reliable test.
Ms Patel suggested that the measures could go further as she was pressured this morning during a round of interviews.
& # 39; Further measures will take place. The government is reviewing measures at the border … you will soon hear some of the changes the government is going to propose. & # 39;
When asked on BBC Radio 4's Today program whether there would be a ban on non-essential travel, Ms. Patel said the British were already being advised to stay at home and only travel abroad according to "strict rules".
She urged again whether people can no longer come and go through airports and said: "Our measures have always been checked when it comes to health measures at the border and also restricted measures for international travel."
National Police Chiefs Council Chairman Martin Hewitt pounded home how police will enforce lockdown rules.
He told the Telegraph: “The armed forces will continue to crack down on this very small minority who openly and selfishly violate the rules, such as those who organize unlicensed musical events or parties.
“This behavior puts others at serious risk, and it is right that we patrol potential hotspots and that officials are curious when they see something out of the ordinary.
"This will both provide reassurance to the public and deter those who believe the measures do not apply to them."
When asked at the BBC breakfast if there were enough resources for the new approach, Mr. Hewitt said, “Of course that stretched us, there are no two options (above), we've been around for 10 months.
“In addition, the police also take on all normal police duties to ensure people's safety. So there is no doubt that this has depleted the resources and of course our people are as tired as everyone is tired.
"That was really difficult and I don't make bones about it."
Mr. Hewitt said police resources are not "unlimited" and officers continue to prioritize their work, adding that it is "really, very important" that people follow government orders.
His stern words followed a day the Met arrested 21 protesters at an anti-lockdown rally in Parliament Square while another seven were bailed from a march in front of Julian Assange's trial and fined up to £ 6,400.
What is a "reasonable excuse" for leaving the house?
You are not allowed to leave your home or be outside of it unless you have a "reasonable excuse". This is regulated by law. The police can take action against you if you leave the house without a “reasonable apology” and impose a fine (Fixed Penalty).
You can get a fixed fine of £ 200 for the first offense, which doubles to a maximum of £ 6,400 for further offenses.
A "reasonable apology" includes:
- Work – You can only leave home for work if it is inappropriate for you to do your work from home
- Volunteering – You can also leave home to do volunteer or community service
- Essential Activities – You can leave home to buy things in stores or get services. You can also leave home to do these things on behalf of a disabled or vulnerable person, or someone who is self-isolating
- Education and Childcare – You can only leave home for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children that you are eligible to attend.
- Meeting with Others and Care – You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble (if you are legally entitled to form one), to informally care for children under the age of 14 under a child care bubble (e.g. to Parents to work) in order to look after disabled or vulnerable people
- Exercise – You can continue to exercise alone, with someone else, or with your household or support bladder, limited to once a day and not outside of your area
- Medical Reasons – You can leave home for medical reasons, including a COVID-19 test for medical appointments and emergencies
- Harm and Compassionate Visits – You can leave the house to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness, or to avoid the risk of harm (such as domestic violence).
- You can also leave the house to visit someone who is dying, someone in a nursing home (if this is permitted under the guidance of the nursing home), a hospice or hospital, or to accompany them to a doctor's appointment
- Animal welfare reasons – You can leave the house for animal welfare reasons, e.g. B. to consult or treat a veterinarian
- Communal Worship and Life Events – You can leave home to attend or attend a place of worship for communal worship, funeral or event related to a death, burial site or memorial garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony.
There are other reasonable excuses. For example, you may leave your home to comply with legal obligations or to engage in activities related to buying, selling, renting or renting a residential property, or when it is reasonable to vote in an election or referendum.
In Northampton, a group of friends were stopped at 5 a.m. and fined £ 800 for sitting in the same car despite being from different households – a violation of the rules that went into effect at midnight.
Meanwhile, Thames Valley police apologized after an officer who was "a bit astute" handed out leaflets asking drivers to explain why they were out to crack down on travel in Maidenhead.
Drivers who repeatedly made unnecessary journeys during the last lockdown will have their license plates recorded by police ANPR cameras and then punished by officers who later show up at their homes.
Officials will also visit the homes of Londoners who recently returned from South Africa, where experts have identified a particularly virulent strain of Covid that may be resistant to all current vaccines.
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said police work would be "accelerated significantly" as the government was now "afraid" of the death toll and infection rates in London.
He said ten percent of the Met force – more than 3,000 officers – are now unemployed because of the virus and that number has grown rapidly.
Ken Marsh told MailOnline about the new measures: “If you have a medical reason not to wear a mask, you now need to print out a clarification stating that you have an exception.
“This is a problem we had all the time before anyone could say they had a medical reason for not wearing a mask and we just had to accept it and walk away. This is not the case now.
The officers will continue the interview in the same way, but the person will then be given a certain amount of time – how long it has not yet completed – to report the exemption to a doctor.
“While people are not required to keep this exception with them at all times, it is easier and faster to do so when they do.
“What I actually asked for is a badge that someone must first apply for and then wear to show they have an appropriate medical dispensation.
"We're not trying to be a big brother, but you can step into the tube and there would be about a dozen or so uncovered people of whom I would question an exception."
Mr. Marsh continued, “We are stepping up the work around vehicle movement. ANPR monitoring is carried out on a broad front with respect to stubborn vehicle users. If they are found to be breaking the law, they will be fined. Officials will visit their homes to inquire about the nature of their travel and if necessary these motorists will be fined.
“We also visit the homes of everyone arriving from South Africa on vacation.
Police patrols are increasing across London and starting tomorrow a task force made up of all relevant authorities, including local councils and the police, will come into force over the next two weeks to ensure that non-essential businesses remain closed. & # 39;
Mr Marsh said future anti-vaccine demonstrations – such as those led by Piers Corbyn, brother of former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn – will be treated far more severely.
That was evident yesterday when four people in the same car en route to McDonald & # 39; s breakfast were fined £ 800 for violating coronavirus laws.
Police drove over the vehicle around 5 a.m. on Bedford Road in Northampton. The two men and two women claimed they were on their way to a McDonald & # 39; s breakfast – even though the fast food restaurant didn't open for two hours.
Investigations confirmed the four did not come from the same household, so the trip violated the lockdown rules, which officially went into effect at midnight.
As a result, their early morning meal was much more expensive than planned when officials beat them with fines of £ 200 each.
Meanwhile, anti-lockdown protesters were chased through Westminster before being pinned to the ground, handcuffed and warned that they would be fined if they did not return home.
Mr. Marsh said, “We're going to take this type of anti-vaccine protest much harder from now on because it's not only disinformation, it's illegal.
"There will now be a lot more policing around these groups and far more robust measures will be taken and arrests will be made."
Mother and daughter Amanda and Samantha Shaw take a walk in the snow in Carnwath, South Lanarkshire
Two women set out in a nearly deserted city center of Birmingham today as the lockdown reached its third full day
The New Forest today, where many people trained in National Trust land near Lyndhurst, Hampshire
Despite the increasing number of police officers taking time off due to Covid-related issues, 200 Met police officers are being drafted to drive London ambulances as ambulance services are scarce.
Mr. Marsh added, “Our numbers are now over 3,000 sick – I mentioned it was 1,300 just ten days ago, so it shows how fast the numbers are growing.
“In fact, it's scary that the numbers are growing at this rate. There are 32,112 officers in the Met – so more than ten percent are either sick with Covid or have to isolate themselves because of it.
& # 39; But now we will also provide 200 drivers for the London Ambulance Service.
“We need to take on these roles on top of daily policing, and while we would never turn a blind eye to crime, we will have limited resources. All of this goes beyond duty and puts an enormous burden on my colleagues. & # 39;
The brutal restrictions in England were retroactively stamped by MPs last night, despite 12 Conservative MPs voting against the home stay rules. They were joined by four DUP MPs who opposed the regulations.
Former Tory Secretary Sir Desmond Swayne described bans as a "total failure" while Sir Robert Syms said the measures, which are in place through March 31, are "essentially a three-month blank check for Public Health England to order to do what they want ".
Sir Robert told the Commons: “I notice that regulations have been put in place so that you are breaking the law under current lockdown regulations when you are sitting on a river with a fishing rod.
“People will follow reasonable rules (if) they feel this will save lives, but the bureaucratic nature of this substantial lockdown is such, in my opinion, that people get frustrated and may actually break the rules for not understanding may know why they are doing this there. & # 39;
Another senior Tory, Sir Charles Walker, said: “I cannot support criminalizing a parent for seeing a child in the park in the coming months. It is not in my DNA to do this.
“Of course I will obey the law and respect the law. You have the argument in the House of Commons, you split, you are on the winning side or the losing side and I'll be on the losing side – there is no doubt about that. & # 39;
Sir Charles said it was “easy” for him and most of the people in this house to obey the law, stating, “We're comfortable away, we live in beautiful houses, we have gardens, we have outdoor spaces, we have access to the family.
The council's Covid guards were also in effect across the country when authorities vowed to punish at least £ 200 on the spot for no “good reason”. The West Midlands Police have requested permission to force entry into homes to separate parties.
Scotland Yard police officers were filmed chasing protesters across Parliament Square before they were handcuffed when officers heard them gathering illegally: "I'll fine you if you don't return home." 21 people were arrested and are being held. You have not yet been punished.
People were pinned and handcuffed to the ground – including on the pedestals of famous statues, including that of Mahatma Gandhi – before being placed in vans after refusing to leave Westminster.
The drug and health regulator in charge of controls is also expected to increase staff to speed up the mass vaccination program
About two miles away, Met officials arrested seven supporters of Julian Assange when he was denied bail on Westminster Magistrates' Court this morning, including 92-year-old Eric Levy and several other retirees. The demonstrators shouted "fascists" at the police and took them away.
Police State of Great Britain: The detective inspector calls for a change in the law so that officers can force people to enter homes suspected of violating the rules
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said he had urged the government to permit officials to "make it easier to enforce" the new rules.
A police force would like the authorities to force access to the homes of alleged violations of the Covid rules.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has called on the government to authorize officials to "help enforce the new rules".
Mr Jamieson said: “For the small minority of people who refuse entry to police officers and who hinder their work, entry appears to be a useful tool.
"I have already raised this issue with the police minister, and clarity about the entry permit would help police officers to more easily enforce the new Covid regulations."
Before Christmas, Mr Jamieson said officials would cancel family celebrations if they breached lockdown rules during the holiday season. The police chief also warned of Hanukkah and Diwali celebrations.
But his troubled troops came under fire earlier this week Advertise a new Director of "Fairness and Belonging" worth £ 74,000 a year to "oversee an improved inclusive culture throughout the workplace".
A Met spokesperson said: "Seven people were arrested for violating coronavirus regulations. They were later reported for a fixed sentence and asked to leave the area. & # 39;
The Met's hard line came when England's new lockdown laws were released and it was announced that they would be enforced by Easter March 31st – not mid-February as Boris Johnson had promised if the vaccine roll out is successful.
Scotland Yard says anyone attending unlicensed musical events or large illegal parties will now also be fined – not just the organizers of such events – and anyone who "wears masks where they should be and for no good reason." can count – without justification ".
Meanwhile, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has urged the government to grant entry to officials to "make it easier to enforce the new regulations" if there is an illegal party.
Fixed charges of £ 200 will be issued for each first offense. This doubling applies to further offenses up to a maximum of £ 6,400. Those who hold or are involved in an illegal gathering of more than 30 people risk being fined £ 10,000 by the police.
Elsewhere, the police have apologized for the behavior of an officer who "was a little keen" to hand out leaflets and ask the drivers, "Why are you here?" as part of a crackdown on travel while in lockdown.
Residents of upscale Maidenhead, Berks., Were outraged that their uniformed cops who distributed the leaflets were questioning their shopping and exercise trips.
The leaflet says: “Due to government restrictions, we must avoid ALL UNNECESSARY TRAVEL.
“You shouldn't exercise more than once a day. This should be done by walking, running or cycling etc. from your home address. You shouldn't be driving to a location outside of your home to do this.
"Please refrain from unnecessary travel until restrictions have been lifted."
However, Thames Valley Police chiefs said the leaflets should not be distributed by officials stopping all traffic on a bridge in the area.
Rosalind Bieber, who shared a picture of one of the leaflets online, said, “I was trapped in a large line from the police station roundabout to the Berkeley site at 9:30 this morning.
“Two police officers stopped every single car and asked where we were going. I was given this booklet as shown below and was told I cannot shop at Tesco in Taplow as I live in Maidenhead. They're going to be fined starting tomorrow so be aware folks. & # 39;
Ms. Bieber added, “If Tesco is my regular grocery store, why should I be asked to go to another supermarket?
“I'm traveling two miles from one SL6 zip code to another SL6 zip code. I don't like Sainsbury's so I won't go there. Not my fault Tesco is two miles away, the one in Maidenhead that closed three months ago! Instead, the police should take action against those who travel on non-essential trips! & # 39;
More than 100 mourners who attended the funeral of a friend who had died of Covid-19 were sent home by police from a cemetery for violating coronavirus gathering rules.
The mourners arrived at the crematorium and cemetery in Slough, Berks, to pay their final respects to someone buried during a funeral after dying from the pandemic virus.
The officers had to send the grieving people away and point out that the regulations did not allow more than 30 people to gather for funerals. The Slough Crematorium was the site of Princess Margaret's funeral many years ago.
A Slough Borough Council spokesman said: “We are warning residents that if lockdown rules are violated after a previous incident, the police will be called to the cemetery and crematorium.
Police were called to Stoke Road premises, owned and operated by the council, after more than 100 people appeared for a funeral. This clearly violated the blocking regulations, according to which only 30 people must be present and socially distant.
"It is the first time since the beginning of the crisis that the police have been called to the cemetery for violating the Covid regulations."
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Coronavirus Lockdowns