Police chiefs are encouraging Britons to snitch on neighbours they suspect of breaching the coronavirus lockdown rules put in place to protect them and the rest of the public.
Humberside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Avon and Somerset Police have created a mixture of ‘hotlines’ and ‘online portals’ where people can submit tip-offs if lockdown infractions occur.
The portals have been made in response to a surge in the number of calls to the non-emergency 101 number since the PM imposed the most drastic curtailment of civil liberties in either peacetime or wartime.
Concerned citizens are being asked to fill out an online form specifying the nature of the alleged infractions.
They can report police for supposed violations committed by individuals, groups, or businesses – putting shops under further pressure. They can also provide the address, and date and time by the minute.
It comes as Britons trying to adjust to life under the coronavirus lockdown are receiving fines from police for gathering in groups of more than two people.
Senior chiefs have admitted that police are ‘essentially powerless’ to stop Britons going out more than once. They said the measures can be easily flouted because the guidance is still non-specific, they claim.
Derbyshire and Lincolnshire Police are facing charges of zealotry after using drones to spy upon people who are making ‘non-essential trips’ like country dog walks.
As the police urge Britons to spy upon and report their neighbours for alleged violations:
- Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock were struck down by Covid-19 and will now be working from home;
- Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty is self-isolating after displaying flu-like symptoms;
- Government advisers said that further restrictions could be on the way as 181 people who tested positive with the coronavirus died yesterday in the biggest surge in numbers in a single day yet;
- The ExCeL London Centre is being refitted to create thousands of new beds for COVID-19 sufferers, complete with oxygen, ventilators and other key equipment in the battle against the deadly virus;
- Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham called for stricter policy on businesses from the Government after being flooded with more than 300 complaints about 150 separate companies in his constituency;
- The Government introduced new regulations allowing workers up to four weeks of unused leave to be taken in the next two years as their holidays are disrupted by the pandemic;
- NHS staff will be tested for coronavirus from next week as Chessington World of Adventures car park is turned into drive-thru swab centre for medics;
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology said the social-distancing measures were not adequate, and recommended that the space between people increase from 2m to 8m;
- Health experts said NHS bosses could have prevented ‘chaos and panic’ in a system left ‘wholly unprepared for this pandemic’, adding the Government’s Contain-Delay-Mitigate-Research plan had failed.
Police officers break up a group of people who had gathered in Glasgow city centre during the coronavirus lockdown
Police patrolling the promenade in Brighton and Hove moving people that were sat on the beach during the lockdown
People were spotted flouting social distancing rules in Bath as they enjoyed the sunshine during the coronavirus lockdown
Members of the public exercising closely at Paddington Recreation Ground in London, during the coronavirus lockdown
Snoopers can report police for supposed violations committed by individuals, groups, or businesses – putting shops under further pressure. They can also provide the address, and date and time by the minute
Big Brother Watch called the tactics ‘sinister’.
Liberty’s Director Martha Spurrier said: ‘This new law is without doubt the biggest restriction on our individual and collective freedoms in a generation.
‘What people may not realise is the extent of its powers, and how long they can be in place for.
It gives the authorities new powers to detain any one of us that they deem to be potentially infected with the coronavirus. It also removes vital safeguards in care standards, leaving many people who are already at risk, such as disabled people, at further risk, not only of poor care but also of potentially inhumane treatment.
‘The breadth of this legislation is also extraordinary. It runs to more than 300 pages and includes some spectacular restrictions, including powers to rearrange or cancel elections.
‘We’ll beat this virus, but these measures must be a last resort in that battle and these powers must be removed as soon as possible. We cannot and must not sacrifice all of our hard-won rights and freedoms.’
Humberside’s Head of the Force Control Room said: ‘We are aware there will be individuals who choose not to adhere and understandably, people do want to report this type of behaviour to us as it is risking lives.
‘The online portal has been developed precisely for reports of this nature, where groups have been seen gathered, and has a dedicated team who will receive the report as soon as it is made.
People exercise in the early morning sun at Hyde Park in central London, during a lockdown over the spread of Covid-19
Members of the public jogging in Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of the coronavirus
Members of the public jogging in Regents Park in London, during a lockdown over the spread of the coronavirus
A runner passes a hand-painted sign telling would-be walkers to stay at home, attached to a road sign in Bamford, Derbyshire. The village is extremely popular in the Peak District for walkers and others who enjoy outdoor activities
Police officers speak to a man sitting down in Princess Gardens in the centre of Manchester during the lockdown
A police officer in a vehicle speaks to a man resting on the grass in Greenwich Park in London after the Government ordered a sweeping and unprecedented national lockdown to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus
Avon and Somerset Police officers chat to a dog walker in a park in Bristol, where they are patrolling and enforcing the Government’s sweeping and unprecedented national lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus
Outspoken former police chief says officers should be able fire tasers and baton rounds if people fail to comply with coronavirus lockdown
Kevin Hurley, who held senior positions at the Met and City of London Police, made the suggestion on LBC radio
Police should be able fire tasers and plastic bullets at people who fail to comply with Britain’s lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, a senior former Met and City police officer has suggested on air.
Kevin Hurley, who held senior positions at the Met and City of London Police, made the suggestion during an interview with Iain Dale on LBC radio.
He said: ‘I’m moved by what I’m seeing in India where police are literally beating anyone on the street with long sticks. Now this may sound absurd, but my experiences with dealing with the street in London, you can’t even properly police many of the estates.
‘I think we’re talking about warning people, potentially issuing them a fine. If they don’t comply, because you don’t want to touch them taser them on the spot. If they still don’t comply, fire baton rounds at them.
‘If they still don’t comply, fire something else at them that makes them comply permanently because we’re talking about thousands of people dying.’
‘Reports will be assessed based on the information provided and we would ask people to please consider the circumstance before making their report.
‘If a couple and two children are seen in the park, it’s highly likely they are all from the same household and are taking the opportunity for their one form of exercise of the day, which under the guidance is allowed.
‘However, if there is a group of 10 people of the same age gathered in a car park, it’s more likely they are not from the same household.
‘We will not be able to deploy officers to every single report of social gatherings that contradict the Government’s advice and dependent on the information within the report will determine our response.
‘Responses or outcomes will not be provided to those who submit a report, as would be the case calling 101, but rest assured it will have been received and action taken where appropriate.
‘Everyone is pulling together during these unprecedented times and our thanks go out to all of our residents across the Humberside Force area who are following the Government’s advice to do the right thing in order to protect the NHS, which in turn will save lives. Please help us in continuing to provide you with a policing service and protecting you by reporting these incidents online and keeping the non-emergency 101 number free for us to deal with all other incidents.’
Meanwhile, Government advisers warned that even stricter social distancing measures could be on the way. after 181 people died yesterday. It is by far the biggest daily increase and means the disease has claimed 759 lives, including young and previously healthy people.
Government advisers said stricter social distancing policies may have to be rolled out next month if the grim figures continued to rise. The measures would be introduced in three weeks as the outbreak reached its peak to further reduce ‘person-to-person interaction’.
This week France announced that individuals could only exercise alone – unless with children – for a maximum of an hour and within 1,000 yards of their homes.
Spain and Italy have banned exercise altogether, and there are concerns that Britons are deliberately misinterpreting the guidance by travelling to beauty spots miles from their homes
Yesterday’s figures show that London hospitals recorded the highest number of new deaths at 54, followed by West Midlands hospitals with 19. But these numbers do not include patients who die at home or in care homes, meaning the true number may be higher.
A senior adviser suggested the figures would continue to rise for the next three weeks, meaning the peak is likely to hit at Easter. The adviser said hospitals ‘should be OK’, but said ‘we can’t guarantee it’ and stressed some intensive care units may struggle to cope.
And should the number of deaths rise significantly, ‘greater enforcement’ of social distancing policies would be introduced, including ‘anything that can be done to push it (down) further’.
The adviser added: ‘I expect death numbers to increase over two, three or four weeks, and then to gradually decrease.’ Officials were generally ‘very happy’ with the levels of compliance with social distancing guidance, despite some Britons travelling some distance to beauty spots in the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales to exercise.
NHS staff will be tested for coronavirus from next week as Chessington World of Adventures car park is turned into drive-thru swab centre for medics, the Government announced yesterday.
The 26ft sneeze zone: Coronavirus social distancing limit is at least four times too SHORT because infectious droplets can fly much further than current 6ft restriction, study warns
The UK’s social distancing policy appears to be unfolding incorrectly according to a recent study, which shows the advised six foot separation guidelines are failing to stop the spread of deadly coronavirus.
Many supermarkets and other places of public importance which remain in operation have been practicing the organised separation of customers, though the simple transmission of Covid-19 shows more now needs to be done, research indicates.
A new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests the gap we currently have in place to distance from one another needs to be around four times bigger.
When leaving the safety of home the public are currently being asked to keep a distance of around 6ft 6in, particular when it comes to forming queues in congested supermarkets.
Michael Gove, standing in for the PM in yesterday’s No 10 briefing, said the Government would be rolling out the tests to boost numbers on the frontline.
Hospitals have been recording staff absence rates of up to 50 per cent as staff or members of their households develop symptoms which means they are forced to self-isolate as they do not know if they are safe to work.
The tests for NHS employees will start with those who are critical care medics or intensive care staff but will also include those working in emergency departments, ambulance services and GPs.
Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, said that as testing volumes increased the service would be expanded to cover a range of essential public workers such as social care services.
There are currently more than 6,200 confirmed coronavirus patients in hospitals across England and a further 846 patients have been treated in intensive care since the start outbreak began.
According to Dr Richard Horton, editor of British medical journal The Lancet, numerous warnings were allegedly issued to the NHS but were not heeded. He also claimed that the Government’s Contain-Delay-Mitigate-Research plan had failed.
In an article published earlier today, Dr Horton cited an example from his journal from January 20. He said: ‘It failed, in part, because ministers didn’t follow WHO’s advice to “test, test, test” every suspected case.
‘They didn’t isolate and quarantine. They didn’t contact trace. These basic principles of public health and infectious disease control were ignored, for reasons that remain opaque.’
Home Office reveals new powers to tackle people flouting the coronavirus lockdown
- Up to two years in prison if you cough deliberately on someone after spate of attacks on emergency service workers;
- People who flout lockdown rules will be breaking the law and can be arrested as part of new enforcement powers;
- Officers can tell them to go home, leave or disperse an area and ensure parents are taking necessary steps to stop their children breaking the law. Those who refuse to comply could be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £60;
- Second-time offenders could be issued a fixed penalty notice of £120, doubling on each further repeat offence;
- Those who do not pay the penalty can be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose fines of £1,000 or more.
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- UK announces another 315 coronavirus deaths bringing total fatalities to 28,446 as new hotspot map reveals swathes of Britain outside major cities that have had ZERO deaths - as expert argues isolated areas should be released from lockdown sooner
- Government scientist Neil Ferguson, 51 - whose death toll projections sparked lockdown - QUITS after admitting he allowed married mistress, 38, to break stay-at-home rules to visit him for trysts
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- Michael Gove warns Britain the lockdown will be reintroduced in areas that see infections rise in 'whack-a-mole' plan as Boris Johnson prepares plan to kick-start construction and re-open offices and schools - despite coronaphobia paralysing UK
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Police urge Brits to spill the beans on neighbours suspected of breaching coronavirus lockdown: Telephone 'hotline' and online 'snoopers' forum are set up as scores of people still break rules after five days in isolation have 3093 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at March 28, 2020. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.