“There is no ‘Covid power’ to stop vehicles. There won’t be an awful lot we can do if lots of people hit the roads on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day.”
Source: Steve Watson
Police in the UK have admitted that they have no legal authority to enforce a travel ban in and out of London and the South East after the government instituted a third lockdown, cancelling Christmas for millions of people.
The London Telegraph reports that officials from the Police Federation say that officers do not have the power to stop people traveling or to stop cars and check if citizens are “unlawfully” visiting relatives and friends for Christmas.
“It’s heavily reliant on public compliance. The restriction isn’t on travelling, it’s on leaving the house (without reasonable excuse as defined),” a police source told the Telegraph.
“The more reasonable excuses that there are, the more there will be opportunities to claim an exemption where in truth one doesn’t exist. So it’s going to be very tough to enforce,” the source added.
In addition, it is only legal for police to stop motorists if they have witnessed a traffic violation.
There is no ‘Covid power’ to stop vehicles. There won’t be an awful lot we can do if lots of people hit the roads on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day. We won’t be closing roads to prevent it,” said the police source.
“I would accept there is legislation put in place but as a police officer who has been doing the job for a long time, it’s not enforceable,” added Ken Marsh, chair of the Met Police Federation.
“Your functionality to perform your duty is nigh on impossible if they don’t tell you the truth. If they think they are going to get a fine, they won’t tell you the truth,” March added, referring to anyone stopped by police.
Despite the admissions, the government has said it is relying on police to enforce the “tier four” restrictions, which equate to a total lockdown.
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary proclaimed that police must stop people getting on trains or into cars to travel out of Tier 4 areas.
“Of course. It’s the police’s responsibility to police the law,” Hancock stated.
The government’s cancellation of Christmas over the weekend, based on evidence of a ‘mutant strain’ of more contagious COVID that has not been presented to MPs, scientists, or the public, caused a mass exodus from London in the hours before the lockdown took effect.