Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick has said that rule breakers are “increasingly likely” to face fines as police forces across England are moving “more quickly” to enforce the rules.
However, some police forces have hit out at Commissioner Dick and have requested clarity over how far people are legally allowed to travel to exercise.
A top cop has said that “officers have no power in law to deal” with people who exceed their travel, despite Policing Minister Kit Malthouse saying today that people should exercise “close to home.”
Brian Booth, chairman of the West Yorkshire Police Federation said, “The guidance is that you should be local in your own community near where you live but people are far exceeding that.
“Officers have no power in law to deal with it, so it is a bit of a nonsense really.
“The guidance is people’s moral judgement, should they be doing it, but with regard to policing it, it’s impossible.
“If you say to people you are going to limit their civil liberties, and you are going to place them in lockdown, state it very clearly. Because it’s not fair on the public either.
“Don’t expect officers to work a miracle and pull law out of their back pocket.
“We’ve got to have a sound foundation of law to apply properly. If not, the public starts to mistrust us.”
Adam Commons, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation warned the rules are “incredibly vague” which need amending as this is placing added “pressure” on the police.
He said, “This just puts the pressure back on my colleagues who then get the criticism in the media for enforcing it and then if it’s wrong or interpreted differently it is used as a stick to beat them with.”
The Policing Minister also said on Tuesday that you can cycle for 70 miles which is acceptable, which would take the average person between 5 and 10 hours, therefore this is a contradiction as he said exercise must be also “quick.”
There is also a debate unfolding if people are allowed to buy takeaway coffee without being fined.
Malthouse told Good Morning Britain, “If you’re getting coffee on your way to do exercise, or as part of your acquiring food, or one of those reasons you’re allowed to be out of the house, then that is legitimate.”
He added that people should use “common sense” as it is difficult to “legislate for every single nuance of human behaviour.”