Inappropriate behaviour & threats by the police citing Covid 19 regulations

yorkie

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Swimmers were using the popular County Down spot when officers arrived and asked them to disperse.
Mr Murphy said after he came out of the sea and was getting changed he was approached by six police officers.
He said he had seen them from the water walking "systematically, approaching groups and threatening them with £200 fines".
"I pointed out we could be at Ikea or Tesco. They said: 'This is an organised event'. We pointed out this is not, this is people taking part in something healthy."

When the pastor tried to refer police to the government guidelines on the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic, and insisted what they were doing was legal, a further seven officers were called, the centre said.
Pastor Mateola said officers had "escalated" the situation "unnecessarily" and the service had to be halted as staff left the building.
The Christian Legal Centre said four days later on 24 November officers went to Pastor Mateola's home and informed him he was to be prosecuted for breaking government regulations.

I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Do we have any police offers registered on this forum who can offer any explanation as to what is happening?

I find myself extremely worried by recent events. I want to support the police, I really do, but how can anyone justify what is happening to our country?

I personally don't support protests but if this sort of nonsense continues, then people are going to get increasingly angry, and you are going to get more protests, bigger protests and they are going to turn nasty. No-one wants that. But it seems some police offers do want that. I am sure it is a minority, but what is being done about that minority? I am deeply concerned. We all should be.
 
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I just saw this clip on Youtube (yes it's posted by The Sun but I think it's worth a watch).


I am very glad to see that there was an MP present, and hopefully he will use this to spark a debate on appropriate use of police powers at this time.
 

bramling

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I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Do we have any police offers registered on this forum who can offer any explanation as to what is happening?

I find myself extremely worried by recent events. I want to support the police, I really do, but how can anyone justify what is happening to our country?

I personally don't support protests but if this sort of nonsense continues, then people are going to get increasingly angry, and you are going to get more protests, bigger protests and they are going to turn nasty. No-one wants that. But it seems some police offers do want that. I am sure it is a minority, but what is being done about that minority? I am deeply concerned. We all should be.

From conversations with police in work settings (I would add the caveat that these are BTP not regular police), they are as utterly sick of all this as everyone else. The feeling I get is that they simply don't know what to do for the best. Having said that, like the rest of the population there are a small number who heavily buy-in to things like masks based on their own personal feelings, very much the minority though (IME).

I think the difficulty is that they are damned if they do and damned if they don't, as if they don't do anything then there will be a load of curtain twitchers all over social media moaning that the police "did nothing" and "risked lives". Just like we continue to get when someone kicks off about someone being on a train without a mask. A lot of this is, of course, the "it's not fair I'm abiding by it and he's not" mentality rather than genuine concern.
 

Nicholas43

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The guidance (for England) from the College of Policing is here. It emphasizes that we have policing by consent, and that officers should Engage and Explain, not rush to Enforce.
 

initiation

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Now I know its difficult to say exactly what happened throughout the course of an entire particular event but there was this article from last week.

The policeman replies: 'You showed me a card that you printed on the internet. That's not valid', to which the customer responds: 'So?'

He responds: 'Because you haven't got a certificate or a doctor's note, the onus is on yourself.'

The shopper says: 'I can prove to you here that my son's girlfriend has ordered me a card, which I just said to you, I only texted the other day saying "has my card come yet?"

'I can prove to you here that she's put "yes, it does take a few weeks, I think my mum's took a few weeks as well".'

The camera operator questions whether she has broken the law, to which the policeman says she has 'broken a guideline'.
The police respond by completely missing the point...
The shopper voluntarily produced a document. This was a generic document printed off the internet and not personal to her circumstances
 
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DavidB

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Now I know its difficult to say exactly what happened throughout the course of an entire particular event but there was this article from last week.


The police respond by completely missing the point...

Disgusting.

But at least most of the commentators are criticising the police.
 

yorkie

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The video didn't work on that link but it is here:


Between them, the police officers can be heard saying:
...You don't have to prove to us. You take your burden of proof to the court...
...As police officers we don't have to ask for proof of your exemption, if we have a conversation we can ask what it is...
..You've shown me a card you printed this on the internet, that's not valid..
...Because you have not got a personal certificate...
...Because you've not got a doctor's note, the onus is on yourself...
If you get that exemption certificate that you can prove you have a medical condition that you don't have to wear a mask then you won't need to be going to court. The onus is on yourself to prove that you have a medical condition. That's printed on the internet, that's not valid
You cannot under Government guidelines enter into a shop without a mask unless you've got proof...
...We're going round in circles here..

The police statement doesn't just miss the point; the police appear to be actually lying.

The police in this case are behaving like absolute scum and are inflaming a situation for no good reason. They are making up laws that don't exist.

If this sort behaviour continues, we're going to have big, big problems in this country.

If the police in this video are reading this, my message to you is: shame on you. I work with young people and would never treat them the way you treated these people. You're absolutely rubbish at your jobs. Millions of people are out of work and deserve a job much more than you do. Resign!

My respect for the police is diminishing.

Exemption cards​


If you have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering:


  • you do not routinely need to show any written evidence of this
  • you do not need show an exemption card

This means that you do not need to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about your reason for not wearing a face covering.


However, some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.


Carrying an exemption card or badge is a personal choice and is not required by law.

If you wish to use an exemption card or badge, you can download exemption card templates. You can then print these yourself or show them on a mobile device. Please note that the government is not able to provide physical exemption cards or badges
 
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BJames

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Some of these examples are incredibly concerning. I am particularly concerned by the fact that the police seem to think it's ok to just ignore the law vs guidance in the example above... saying she has "broken a guideline" does not equate to a fineable offence. And saying that the card on the internet is "not valid"... where do they think sunflower lanyards come from??
I just saw this clip on Youtube (yes it's posted by The Sun but I think it's worth a watch).


I am very glad to see that there was an MP present, and hopefully he will use this to spark a debate on appropriate use of police powers at this time.
Interestingly he did actually raise this in the Commons as he was on his way in (sorry I don't have a link but I was watching this at the time). Deputy Speaker was present and asked Rees Mogg to bring this to the Secretary of State's attention I believe. But good that he was there and for standing up for her.
 

yorkie

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Is anyone in the West Midlands able to write to their MP about this?

If I behaved like that at work, my employer would not issue a statement justifying my poor behaviour and mistruths; I'd expect to be sacked!

What on earth are the police thinking? They've lost the plot and need to be brought to account.
 
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sheff1

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But it seems some police offers do want that. I am sure it is a minority, but what is being done about that minority? I am deeply concerned. We all should be.
A minority (but not an insignificant minority) of police have been acting in similar ways for as long as I can remember (which is back to the 1960s). I could list many many reported incidents, but that would not be really be worthwhile. The point is that nothing is done about this minority in the vast majority of cases and this is because the vast majority of people, including the lawmakers, are actually not concerned.
The police in this case are behaving like absolute scum and are inflaming a situation for no good reason. They are making up laws that don't exist.

If this sort behaviour continues, we're going to have big, big problems in this country.
You seem to be giving the impression it is a new thing. As I say, such behaviour has been going on for years.
 
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bramling

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The video didn't work on that link but it is here:


A police officers can be heard saying:









The police statement doesn't just miss the point; the police appear to be actually lying.

The police in this case are behaving like absolute scum and are inflaming a situation for no good reason. They are making up laws that don't exist.

If this sort behaviour continues, we're going to have big, big problems in this country.

If the police in this video are reading this, my message to you is: shame on you. I work with young people and would never treat them the way you treated these people. You're absolutely rubbish at your jobs. Millions of people are out of work and deserve a job much more than you do. Resign!

My respect for the police is diminishing.


As well as being disgusting, it’s also rather chilling in a number of ways.

Assuming this is as it appears, it seems you can now be reported for any crime the police think you *might* be committing, with not a shred of evidence apart from their suspicion, and it’s for you to have your day in court to prove innocence. I don’t think so.

A very slippery slope for the police to lose the respect of the population in this way. It does actually appear that these officers were perhaps even trying to goad some kind of reaction so that they could then arrest for something more serious, in all honesty I suspect many of us would have had to exercise restraint in dealing with that clinical and incorrect manner.
 
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sheff1

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It does actually appear that these officers were perhaps even trying to goad some kind of reaction so that they could then arrest for something more serious,
A favourite tactic down the years. The advantage now is that there are witnesses who can and do video the proceedings and post them for all to see. Until recently it was the police's word against yours .... and guess whose word the courts preferred to believe.
 

bramling

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A favourite tactic down the years. The advantage now is that there are witnesses who can and do video the proceedings and post them for all to see. Until recently it was the police's word against yours .... and guess whose word the courts preferred to believe.

Their manner is particularly concerning. The smooth and clinical manner is just asking for them to be given a smack, and of course we know what would happen then. The way the male one is all masked up is chilling in itself.
 

gray1404

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Is anyone in the West Midlands able to write to their MP about this?

If I behaved like that at work, my employer would not issue a statement justifying my poor behaviour and mistruths; I'd expect to be sacked!

What on earth are the police thinking? They've lost the plot and need to be brought to account.
Yes please, I support this. Please someone write to their MP so this unlawful discrimination against the poor disabled lady can be challenged and these 2 officers can be held to account. They should be sacked!


 
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matt_world2004

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There's a video on Facebook (sorry can't link) Where police threaten to arrest someone for a section 5 public order offence for having a sticker on the back of the car that says:

"no to vaccines ,Covid is a lie"


I absolutely don't agree with the sticker. Or the persons belief. But in no way can I see how a reasonable person would see it being considered threatening , alarming or intending to cause distress and it seems like a misuse of police power.
 

Logan Carroll

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“Key Workers” who think they are above everyone else are a dime a dozen these days.

They will overstep their bounds just now but the moment the pandemic ends they will go back to being powerless.
 

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It doesn't help when news organisations make inaccurate statements such as "...it is illegal to travel from an area in a higher tier to an area in a lower tier to take advantage of lighter restrictions....". (Sky News)

This makes the police try to enforce guidance as the law, or to enforce laws that don't exist, such as Devon & Cornwall police trying to prevent people travelling to Cornwall, so that they can visit a pub without having to buy a substantial meal.

No doubt some police force in a Tier 2 area will visit a pub and issue fines to those people whose meals it deems are not substantial.
 

DavidB

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There's a video on Facebook (sorry can't link) Where police threaten to arrest someone for a section 5 public order offence for having a sticker on the back of the car that says:

"no to vaccines ,Covid is a lie"


I absolutely don't agree with the sticker. Or the persons belief. But in no way can I see how a reasonable person would see it being considered threatening , alarming or intending to cause distress and it seems like a misuse of police power.

As I understand it, public order offences only apply where there is an immediate threat of disorder (e.g. someone threatening to punch someone else). Quite how anyone could claim that a car sticker saying that couod fit this description is not at all clear, but it is worrying if police are either so badly-trainied that they don't know this, or so full of their own importance that they think they can make claims like this with impunity.
 

Bantamzen

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“Key Workers” who think they are above everyone else are a dime a dozen these days.

They will overstep their bounds just now but the moment the pandemic ends they will go back to being powerless.
Well as of last week there were about 1.2 million less once the public sector pay freeze was announced.
 

bramling

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“Key Workers” who think they are above everyone else are a dime a dozen these days.

They will overstep their bounds just now but the moment the pandemic ends they will go back to being powerless.

The thing is, as a society we do rely on people like the police, in a number of ways.

This is why things like this are extremely damaging, but then Covid (or more precisely the hysterical reaction to it from some individuals, and the cretinous reaction from the politicians) is proving damaging to many aspects of our society. Arcadia yesterday, Debenhams today, who knows what tomorrow.

It seriously concerns and saddens me what society we’re going to be left with by mid 2021.
 

Logan Carroll

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The thing is, as a society we do rely on people like the police, in a number of ways.

This is why things like this are extremely damaging, but then Covid (or more precisely the hysterical reaction to it from some individuals, and the cretinous reaction from the politicians) is proving damaging to many aspects of our society. Arcadia yesterday, Debenhams today, who knows what tomorrow.

It seriously concerns and saddens me what society we’re going to be left with by mid 2021.
Honestly pretty depressing that a chain of shops selling sweatshop made clothing is considered an “aspect of out society”.
 

stevetay3

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They are saying support your local high st , I want to but how can I while the stasi are running wild making there own laws up. They all fail the so called attitude test big time and I will not be returning to shops until these plonkers are removed.
 

island

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It doesn't help when news organisations make inaccurate statements such as "...it is illegal to travel from an area in a higher tier to an area in a lower tier to take advantage of lighter restrictions....". (Sky News)

This makes the police try to enforce guidance as the law, or to enforce laws that don't exist, such as Devon & Cornwall police trying to prevent people travelling to Cornwall, so that they can visit a pub without having to buy a substantial meal.

No doubt some police force in a Tier 2 area will visit a pub and issue fines to those people whose meals it deems are not substantial.
I have spoken to a friend in Devon & Cornwall Police who advised me that they have no plans to prevent people travelling to Cornwall, as it is not an offence. They may however challenge groups of people meeting indoors in Cornwall to establish whether they are from the same or linked households, as if someone from Devon does travel to Cornwall the restrictions on indoor gatherings follow him/her.
 

swj99

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I accept that police officers can find themselves in confusing and difficult situations, but it's worth remembering that many of them are not legally trained, or qualified. In many cases, they are not even familiar with the legislation they are being asked to enforce.

As has already been said, in this country we have policing by consent, but this is a two way street. Every time the police behave in an abusive or thuggish manner, more people stop consenting and the job of the police becomes even more difficult as they lose the goodwill and co-operation of the public.

My reponse to a police officer claiming that I was in breach of a law relating to this current fiasco would be to point out that neither their nor my opinion mattered, and it was ultimately a question for a court to decide. In other words, if they want to issue a fixed penalty, that's fine, but they will have to be able to justify their decision in court, where the strict rules of evidence apply.
 

HSTEd

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The police haven't been able to indulge in their usual hobby of kicking the heads of football supporters in.

Have to get that overtime and pent up agression out somehow.
 

Merle Haggard

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The police haven't been able to indulge in their usual hobby of kicking the heads of football supporters in.

Have to get that overtime and pent up agression out somehow.

Well sounds like things have changed in target but not principle since the 1960s, when I was a teenager.
Motorbike owners, students, any male with long hair was the target then, hoping you'd react . Planting bricks for evidence, and if that couldn't be done, allegations without any evidence. That's the way it was.
But just try reporting a crime now, and see what the reaction is. One pearl from the desk sergeant I got was 'and what do you expect me to do about it?'...
 

DavidB

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My reponse to a police officer claiming that I was in breach of a law relating to this current fiasco would be to point out that neither their nor my opinion mattered, and it was ultimately a question for a court to decide. In other words, if they want to issue a fixed penalty, that's fine, but they will have to be able to justify their decision in court, where the strict rules of evidence apply.

They need to have a sufficient level of knowledge to be able to identify whether something is likely to be a crime. In some cases it's not clear cut, but in this case it really is, and given that it's a current contentious issue all police should be aware of what the rules actually are: they really aren't complicated and there is no excuse at all for claiming that anyone who says they are exempt must have some formal document to prove this - the government guidance is perfectly clear on this.
 

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