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UK must start to support our frontline police during this time of crisis

by LLB Reporter
31st Mar 20 4:51 pm

Police chiefs have asked the public to “cut us a little bit of slack” and the public must work with the police as they are doing a “marvellous” job.

Police are not taught coronavirus at police school, we are all living in unprecedented times, they like all of us, we are learning as we go.

Many people criticise the police for not doing their jobs, but they are, the public must stand by and support them as much as we do for our NHS, as they too are fighting on the frontline.

Police officers rightly, and justly can fine or even arrest those who flout the coronavirus lockdown laws under the new legislation.

Last week the government introduced social distancing to protect us all, and the police are trying to protect us from this deadly virus.

However, as we are all learning to cope and deal with the coronavirus pandemic, we must forgive officers, who may have been over-zealous, but not intentionally, but with the intention to save lives.

Some media outlets and people including MPs have said the UK is becoming a “police state” which is total rubbish. Thankfully we do not live like those in North Korea.

West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson said in a series of tweets on Tuesday that claims that Britain is becoming a “police state” are “widely off the mark.”

Chief Constable Thompson told the PA news agency, “I think the public are trying to stick to this, which they are, and I think the general comments that have been made by experts and people, they just need to cut us a little bit of slack at the moment, it’s pretty tough.”

Thompson heads up the second largest police force in Britain, he said his fellow heroic officers using the new power had been “very, very limited.”

“Here in the West Midlands, where I serve three million people, we’ve used it twice.

“People have been summonsed regarding failing to follow the restrictions and in one of the cases someone wouldn’t give us their details, so they were arrested until they did, which we can do.

“They were people who were behaving utterly recklessly and unreasonably.”

The chief constable added, “I think we just need to calm down and say the onus is on you as a member of the public to follow this advice, the police are there to help the public do it. We won’t always get this perfectly right in every case.

“But recognise this is a difficult job and, while it’s hard for you to stay at home, PCSOs and police constables don’t have that choice when they’re out in the community and they have to go out and they are putting themselves in harm’s way and at high risk of infection.”

As a journalist we are taught to remain impartial, but as we live in a democratic society I voice my opinion, and I agree with chief constable Thompson, do cut them some slack.

Derbyshire Police Chief Constable Peter Goodman defended the tactics his fellow officers used which included the use of drones in the Peak District.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live, “Of course, we need to find our way in all of this, and it’s difficult. When the regulations and the law only go so far, but then the advice from the government goes a bit further, it leaves us in quite a difficult situation in terms of how we interpret that.

“My advice to my force is we want to do this by consent, we want to do this by explanation and conversation.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) chairman Martin Hewitt told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “We will constantly be striving to achieve that level of consistency and we will be looking at the way the issues are being dealt with and the good practice as well as things we think maybe we wouldn’t want to do in that way.

“But we are going to have to learn as we go along because this is very challenging, the measures are unprecedented for anybody to be dealing with, both for the public and the police.”

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps Shapps told BBC Breakfast, it is “sensible” to promote consistency, saying “I think the police are doing a difficult job.

“There will be one or two instances where they have perhaps not approached it in the right way but, in general, actually, across the country not only are people complying very well but, generally speaking, the police are taking a very sensible approach to it.”

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