Police Officers across the UK now have new police powers to arrest and fine members of the public who don’t follow the coronavirus lockdown rules.
The government asked officers to apply a common-sense approach where the last resort should be a fine.
Some police forces have been issuing plenty of them with some even making arrests and having charges authorised and having people hauled before the courts.
Many members of the public still do not believe a lockdown is happening. But the police should be policing with consent because it is the fundamentals of policing within the United Kingdom.
The police will always be remembered by the way they treat members of the public during a lockdown and how they enforced the rules. Often words of advice are enough.
Some members of the public have already been treat completely unfairly and unjustly while other forces have applied the fines fairly.
This is because the rules are new and unclear the Government did not provide clear and consistent advice on how the police should be dealing with those breaking lockdowns.
But people are being criminalised and brought before the courts, these fines will have life-changing impacts that go far beyond coronavirus and the handling of every single police officers judgement and so-called ‘common sense approach’ will never be forgotten.
Police forces are now being urged to be consistent within their approach and that they should follow actions in line with the legislation, this should be proportionate and only a last resort.
Some forces and police officers have not been making it a last resort with some people criminalised for buying non-essential shopping items.
Others have criminalised for walking their dog away from their home address on the first occasion without being fully aware of the Lockdown rules.
Others have been fined for sitting and taking a rest in public places while on the other hand some have been fined for hosting house parties.
Not all police forces are adopting the same approach and not all officers within these forces are using a fair and consistent approach.
The majority of police officers have been praised for using common sense and taking a sensible approach to the laws however others have been accused of being far too overzealous and not applying a common-sense approach and therefore criminalising the actions of members of the public.
These overzealous actions will be remembered and never forgotten. Policing still needs to be by consent those boundaries should never be walked over because once that happens there will be no going back.
One lady was dragged before the courts and fined £650 in court after she refused to tell officers why she was not following lockdown rules because this exceeds the £60 fine for a first offence.
The coronavirus fines are not intended to criminalise anyone but being dragged before a magistrates court does.
But police officers are dealing with people who should be simply following the government advice.
Our police officers are on the front line putting their own health at risk to keep us safe and have faced idiots spitting at them to infect them since the lockdowns came into force.
This is not to attack and bring our front line down it is to remind them to follow the powers correctly with the right government guidance.
Ensuring they are not remembered as that awful officer during the lockdowns who will never be forgotten for the wrong reasons.
What are the Police Coronavirus Powers?
The new Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 for England act enables to take action if they “reasonably believe” that someone is in contravention ensuring that the police officers decision is deemed “necessary and proportionate”.
Police Officers have the power to order someone to go home or leave and area, and have the power to disperse a group and remove someone using “reasonable force, if necessary”.
Police Officers have the powers to take steps to ensure parents are enforcing the rules with their children breaking the rules.
Police Officers are allowed to arrest anyone who is refusing to comply and issue £60 fines which are reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.
Those fines can then double for a second offence to £120 and would continue to rise each time to a maximum of £960
The fine is not designed to be a criminal conviction but those who do not pay can be taken to court.
You can be arrested if you refuse to give your name and address.
How do I appeal a coronavirus fine?
Appealing a coronavirus fine is exactly the same as appealing a Penalty Notice for Disoreder (PNDs) or Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs).
The person receiving the fine is able to challenge the decision at a magistrates court.
This will involve a court date being set and both sides setting out a legal argument as to why the fine was issued and why the person who received the fine felt it was not justified.
The magistrates will then decided if the fine was justified therefore it still stands or if the fine should never have been issued and therefore should be cancelled.
What fines can the police issue me for the coronavirus Lockdown?
- First time being stopped £60 fine reduced to £30 if paid in 14 days.
- Second offence £120
- Third offence rises for each offence up to a maximum of £960