We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

College of Policing updates COVID-19 enforcement advice

Guidance on enforcing the remaining lockdown restrictions has been issued to forces in England. Restrictions remain on large gatherings and officers cannot issue fines for ignoring government advice.

In England, the COVID-19 ban remains on gatherings of 30 or more people and the policy for dealing with incidents remains to use the four Es (Engage, explain, encourage, enforce).

Third round of revised legislation changes to the Coronavirus Act 2020 apply to England only, and came into force at 00:01 on Saturday, 18 July.

The College of Policing explained: “The regulations give powers to local authorities to issue directions applying to individual premises, events and public outdoor spaces.”

But government guidance beyond this remains just that and officers cannot enforce against it.

The focus on the new rules is a gathering of more than 30 people where officers can give a direction to those involved to disperse or leave the area.

If it is an illegal music event or party, the local authority must give prior notice of closure of event or premises before enforcement.

The College of Policing guidance says: “For enforcement purposes it should be noted that a direction does not have the effect of imposing prohibitions, requirements or restrictions on any person whose only involvement in the event is, or would be, by attendance at the event.”

If the request is refused then a fixed penalty notice can be issued as last resort.

The guidance says: “Where someone is believed to have committed an offence under these regulations and is 18 or over, you may issue them with an FPN for £100 payable within 28 days, but this is reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

Court proceedings may be brought in cases of non-payment. The FPN amounts double for each subsequent offence, up to £3,200 for the sixth and subsequent offences. This will take into account previous FPNs issued under No 3. Regulations, the No 2. Regulations – the Restrictions Regulations or the Leicester Regulations. The usual FPN process via ACRO applies.”

As before, the rules for people entering the UK from abroad remain with them being asked to ‘self-isolate’. This means they should stay in one place without contacting or seeing anyone who does not live with them.

Powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020 allow the police and immigration officials to take those they think are “potentially infectious” with coronavirus to a testing facility. Public health officials can direct individuals who have tested positive for coronavirus to self-isolate under the 2020 Act. However, most people with coronavirus symptoms self-isolate voluntarily without (or before) being directed to by a public health official.

The biggest change will be from Friday this week when face masks become mandatory for shops. The existing mandatory use for public transport and hospital settings remains. But shop workers won’t have to wear them.

A Parliamentary briefing explains: “Policy on using face coverings differs across the UK. They are recommended across the UK in circumstances where social distancing is difficult. In Scotland they must be used on public transport and from 10 July they will be mandatory in shops. In England they are mandatory on public transport and in NHS hospitals and are recommended as one of the additional precautionary measures that should be taken when the minimum gap for physical distancing is reduced to 1 m on 4 July.”

A benefit has been that due to the restrictions on the late night economy and people spending less time in public, crime levels have dropped.

National Police Chiefs' Council Lead for Crime, Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: “The vast majority of the public continue to follow the rules in place to limit the spread of the virus, and as a result, we have seen sustained reductions in crime over the course of the lockdown period.”

Leave a Comment
View Comments 4
In Other News
Interview: a change of image
College of Policing rebrands to reconnect with frontline
COVID-19 lockdown restrictions back in some major cities
Lockdown fine data doesn't show complex reality, says NPCC
Retailers told mask enforcement is last resort for police
Nightingale Courts explained
Kent holds passing out parade for class of COVID-19 recruits
Tri-force ACC retires after leading COVID-19 response
Forces issue dispersal warnings ahead of weekend
Spit hoods do not protect against COVID-19, says manufacturer
More News