Police and councils announce joint approach to enforcing Covid regulations

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LONDON: The Met continues to work with local authorities to help enforce COVID-19 legislation. The Metropolitan Police and London boroughs have signed up to a partnership agreement to assist in the enforcement of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) Regulations 2020 and amendments. The report covers the key principles of the joint approach between London boroughs and the Met.

Police officers, alongside council officers and council wardens will work together to ensure members of the public comply with the legislation that came into effect on Monday, 14 September.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist

The Met will continue with the 4E’s approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging members of public to follow with the regulations. If people refuse to comply, only then will officers take enforcement action.

Local authorities will take primacy for enforcement activity around closure of licensed premises as well as restriction of access to public places. The new legislation prohibits gatherings of more than six people, unless exemptions apply. It is the responsibility of those wanting to attend or organise any large gathering to take personal responsibility to ensure they are complying with the regulations and keeping themselves safe.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, leading the Met’s response to COVID-19, said: “Londoners have made enormous sacrifices during the response to this virus and this partnership approach is designed to target those who continually flout the rules. It isn’t fair, and all of those who have tried hard to stop the spread of the virus rightly expect us to do something.

“The council officers and wardens will be able to feed intelligence and work with businesses and licensed properties to ensure the legislation is complied with. Where necessary and proportionate, we can enforce the legislation, either by Fixed Penalty Notice or arrest.