A police chief said on Thursday that they are “a few days away” from implementing strict measures such as “road blocks” and searching shopping trolleys.
People are continuing to flout the coronavirus regulations and once the “three week grace period” is up in the UK, police will be issuing fines and arresting those who break the rules.
Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley said, forces are “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”
With the new policing rules and said the government rules on how to police “could be even clearer.”
The Chief Constable said further measures will be enforce for those who continue to flout the regulations, to include “marshalling” supermarkets and checking items in trolleys and baskets.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Adderley said, “I really need to emphasise the point, this is about saving people’s lives, this is the really serious end of what we do.
“The role of the police is to preserve lives and protect property and we have to do that, and we will do that.
“If things don’t improve, and we don’t get the compliance we would expect, then the next stage will be road blocks and it will be stopping people to ask why they are going, where they’re going.
“This is about reasonableness and if people are not reasonable in terms of the journeys and the trips they are taking, they are going to fall foul of the law.
“We will not, at this stage, be setting up road blocks. We will not, at this stage, start to marshal supermarkets and checking the items in baskets and trolleys to see whether it’s a legitimate, necessary item.
“But again, be under no illusion, if people do not heed the warnings and the pleas I’m making today, we will start to do that.”
The Chief Constable stressed, the force is “only a few days away” from this point.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick warned, that if the public do not obey police instructions it will “result in enforcement.”
The Commissioner said, “It’s extremely important that we all do try to comply with the restrictions and we in the police of course have our part to play.
“If we have to, we will be very firm in that, if somebody completely refuses, but this is an absolute last resort, it will result in enforcement.”
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