UK Police Get New Powers to Arrest and Fine COVID-19 Lockdown Flouters

British police have received enhanced powers amid the COVID-19 outbreak, including the ability to arrest lockdown flouters and impose higher fines.

The UK Home Office announced that its newly adopted public health regulations would strengthen police enforcement powers in England “to reduce the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.” The NHS is Britains national health service.

“If an individual continues to refuse to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and the police may arrest them where deemed proportionate and necessary,” the Home Office said.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Partys coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China before it was transmitted worldwide.

Authorities said the aim of the new measures is to ensure people stay at home and avoid non-essential travel amid the outbreak.

Non-compliant members of the public may, from March 26 forward, face a number of police enforcement actions, including arrest.

For example, the police may order people to leave an area or disperse and make sure parents are “taking necessary steps to stop their children breaking these rules.”

Further, members of the public that disobey police instructions amid COVID-19 movement restrictions could be issued with a fixed penalty notice of 60 pounds ($72), which will be reduced to 30 pounds ($36) if paid within two weeks. Second-time offenders could be hit with a fine of 120 pounds ($144), doubling on each further repeat offence up to a maximum of 960 pounds ($1165).

“However, in the first instance the police will always apply their common sense and discretion,” the Home Office said.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo Britains Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first remote news conference on the COVID-19 outbreak, in London, Britain, on March 25, 2020. (Andrew Parsons/Pool via Reuters)

Protect our NHS and Save Lives

Home Secretary Priti Patel said of the new enforcement powers: “The Prime Minister has been clear on what we need to do: stay at home to protect our NHS and save lives. All our frontline services really are the best of us and are doing an incredible job to stop this terrible virus from spreading.”

“Thats why Im giving the police these new enforcement powers, to protect the public and keep people safe.”

Besides receiving new powers, British police forces will receive a resource boost, including around 1,500 newly enlisted police officers across England and Wales since September 2019.

Officers nearing retirement or those already retired will also be incentivized to stay on the job longer and rejoin the ranks of active members.

“Additionally, in recognition of their value and expertise and in order to increase capacity and resilience, the government has committed to relaxing tax and pensions rules which could deter officers nearing retirement and those recently retired from returning to serve,” the Home Office said.

As part of the Home Office announcement, British authorities listed permissible activities that would not violate the lockdown.

“Individuals will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes: shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible; one form of exercise a day—for example, a run, walk or cycle—alone or with members of their household; any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; traveling to and from work, but only where they cannot work from hoRead More – Source

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