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Engage, explain, encourage, enforce says NPCC on new measures

The “four Es” guidance and a common sense policing approach will enforce the national lockdown, the NPCC has said.

Engage, explain, encourage then enforce is the official guidance for officers dealing with the public under the new legislation.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has updated its guidance on how officers will enforce the new rules brought in to restrict movement during the COVID-19.

The guidance was finalised between the Ministry of Justice, Crown Prosecution Service and NPCC yesterday.

Officers must use a four-step approach, using the “four Es”, before issuing penalty notices.

Officers have already issued fines by writing over existing forms – but the full picture on adhering to the stay indoors rules has yet to be collated by the Home Office.

Ahead of the first Spring weekend, the police want the public to avoid spaces such as parks and beauty spots. Large gatherings last weekend alarmed police leaders planning the response to the outbreak.

It will be the first major test of the new legislation.

NPCC Chairman Martin Hewitt said: “If we end up with dozens of people going to open spaces, we won’t keep that separation. We are not in normal times. The idea is to have the exercise but not for people to put themselves in a place where they will come into contact with people.”

Roadblocks in rural areas will be part of the police response but Mr Hewitt said it would not be across the country.

He said: “Every force is dealing with different areas and different needs. I don’t see large use of that.”

Mr Hewitt confirmed every force in the country has enough officers to respond to reports of crime and have enough personal protective equipment.

Workforce levels are ‘comfortable’ enough not to need to pull in retired officers or draft in the army.

Mr Hewitt said: “We are a very considerable way away from that at the moment. We are monitoring that on a daily basis. Across the UK we are working with the organisations that allow us to carry on.”

The other concern for forces is tackling incidents that will occur in the home. Police communications teams will be messaging that officers will continue to respond to normal call-outs and will prioritise domestic violence.

Mr Hewitt: “If you are in fear or you are in danger, you must make contact with the police.”

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