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6 Jan, 2021 16:55

‘Heading to a dark place’: Brits slam police commissioner’s call for power to enter homes to enforce Covid-19 lockdown

‘Heading to a dark place’: Brits slam police commissioner’s call for power to enter homes to enforce Covid-19 lockdown

Twitter has erupted in fury after West Midlands Police Commissioner David Jamieson suggested that the government should give police officers the right to force entry into homes of those suspected of violating lockdown rules.

On Tuesday, Jamieson described the power of entry as a “useful tool” to handle “the small minority of people who refuse entry to police officers and obstruct their work,” adding that he had already raised the issue with the policing minister, as “clarity on the power of entry would help police officers enforce the new Covid regulations more easily.”

Twitter users were outraged, however, calling the proposed expansion of Covid-19 measures “shocking” and an infringement on their civil liberties.

One person threatened to meet the police with her “not people friendly” dog, while another even suggested they would use a crossbow against officers attempting to enter their home.

Others suggested that police officers should focus on “real” crime instead, such as knife attacks and gangs.

Not everyone was outraged by the idea, though, with some arguing that the official simply wanted to protect people from catching Covid-19 and from others who behave irresponsibly.

Another suggested that police can already force entry if they suspect a crime is being committed.

Some also questioned whether Jamieson’s comments were unbiased, given he was previously a Labour MP and the PCC is an elected representative responsible for policing in England and Wales.

In December, Jamieson expressed concern that many families would break the Covid-19 rules to spend Christmas together and criticised the government’s “chaotic” handling of the raging pandemic, saying that the police were “left in the middle of a very difficult situation.”

British media reported that in their discussions with government since the first lockdown, police had pointed out that the current coronavirus regulations do not allow them to enter places where they suspect a violation of laws, such as large parties taking place. 

England imposed its third and toughest national lockdown this week to try to curb the huge spike in Covid-19 cases. The measures are likely to remain in place at least into March. 

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The new regulations prohibit people from leaving home unless they’re going to work, if working from home is impossible. People are also allowed to shop for essential food and medicine, to seek medical care, to flee the threat of harm, or provide essential care. It is also permitted to leave home once a day for exercise.

UK daily Covid-19 cases surpassed 60,000 for the first time on Tuesday, with the total number of infections at almost 2,800,000 and more than 76,000 deaths.

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