John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England & Wales, responds to last night’s announcement by the Prime Minister:
“The Government has, as expected, made a decision to relax its lockdown guidance in England. This comes following a week of mixed messages and the release of some information which, fuelled by media speculation, meant many people acted as though the lockdown had already ended. This is putting extreme pressure on my colleagues who are on the frontline trying to enforce legislation in these most challenging of times.
“Wales and Scotland have not adopted the same approach so the changes announced by the Prime Minister this evening will cause huge problems for our members, particularly when people travel across borders to exercise where there are differences in the regulations.
“What we need from the Prime Minister and the Government now is clear and unambiguous messaging and guidance, explaining what exactly is expected of the public, so that my colleagues can do their level best to police it.
“Police officers will continue to do their best, but their work must be based on crystal clear guidance, not loose rules that are left open to interpretation – because that will be grossly unfair on officers whose job is already challenging. If the message of what is expected of the public is not clear then it will make the job of policing this legislation almost impossible.”