Shropshire Star

Police chief calls for correct powers to enter properties to tackle 'serious' Covid breaches

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the West Midlands has called for officers to have the correct powers to tackle "the most serious and dangerous" breaches of Covid regulations.

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West Midlands PCC David Jamieson

David Jamieson says officers in the region are currently having to use alternative legislation to enter properties and disrupt large parties in breach of coronavirus legislation.

Mr Jamieson added that the specific Covid legislation exists in Scotland – and has urged the Government to ensure "police have the right tools to do the job we ask of them".

But he has been criticised by John Campion, the PCC for West Mercia, which covers the Wyre Forest area, who said the police and councils have the powers they need to enforce when people aren't following the rules.

Mr Jamieson said: "When the police are confronted by the most serious and dangerous breaches of the Covid regulations they need the correct powers to enforce the rule of law.

“At the moment officers are having to use alternative legislation, such as anti-social behaviour rules or licencing laws, to enter properties and disrupt large parties.

"The specific Covid legislation exists in Scotland, so we should have it here too."

He added: “It’s crucial that the police are able to act quickly and to do that they need the law to be clear and unequivocal. I have raised this with the policing minister previously and I again urge him to ensure that police have the right tools to do the job we ask of them.

“It would, however, be inappropriate for police to use these powers for suspected minor infringements of Covid laws.”

Mr Campion said: "I am supportive of the National Police Chief’s Council position in that police don’t want or need additional powers to force entry into the homes of people believed to be breaking Covid laws.


“People are largely playing their part in following the rules and protecting lives, and where they aren’t the police and councils have the powers they need to enforce. I cannot imagine this would be something the public would support either.

"I would suggest David Jamieson needs to focus on effectively tackling the issues such as violent crime affecting the West Midlands area.”

Matthew Ellis, the Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime, has called for everyone in the county to their responsibilities to follow the Covid rules seriously to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Mr Ellis said: "Like everyone, I’m glad to see the back of 2020 and look forward to a time when we can talk about coronavirus in the past tense.

"We are, however, some way from that and whilst the vaccines roll out offers much-needed hope and progress, it will be threatened by those who ignore the rules, restrictions and their personal responsibilities.

"Staffordshire Police have an important role to play in ensuring the rules are followed, but it is down to every individual across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to take their responsibilities seriously to protect themselves, their families and everyone around them."

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