Metropolitan police officers’ spokesman blasts the government’s coronavirus response as ‘wishy washy’ as bank holiday sunbathers set to flock to parks again
- Metropolitan Police Federation said Government is sending mixed messages
- MPF’s Ken Marsh said authorities ‘needed to be firmer right from the beginning’
- Health officials said they fear Britons are getting complacent about lockdown
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
A spokesman for Met Police officers has branded the government’s coronavirus response ‘wishy washy’ amid concerns that the public has begun ignoring lockdown restrictions.
Yesterday saw bank holiday sunbathers flock to parks across the country to revel in the sunshine – as the country seems to gradually return to normality despite the continuing lockdown.
The Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF) said that, despite its assertions to the contrary, the Government is sending out mixed messages.
MPF’s Ken Marsh told BBC Radio 4 that authorities ‘needed to be firmer right from the beginning’.
He said: ‘It’s been quite wishy-washy how we’ve gone about it.
Police officers in a patrol car move sunbathers on in Greenwich Park, London, May 9 as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
Sunbathers in Greenwich Park, London yesterday. The Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF) said that, despite its assertions to the contrary, the Government is sending out mixed messages
‘Had we been very stringent from the off – it is painful, but it’s not overly painful in terms of what you’re actually being asked to do – then I think we would have a better result now.’
Health officials have said they fear Britons are starting to get complacent about the Covid-19 lockdown after traffic and mobile phone data revealed more people are on the roads and looking for directions.
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, said on Saturday that ‘there was a little bit of concern’ after the unseasonably warm weather drew big crowds to public spaces.
Scotland Yard sent officers on bikes to keep an eye on London’s Hyde Park, while North Yorkshire Police revealed that 50% of shutdown fines issued so far have gone to tourists visiting beauty spots in the area.
Yesterday police admitted they are ‘fighting a losing battle’ as parks and beaches were packed full of people.
A group of sunbathers in Greenwich Park, London, May 9. Health officials have said they fear Britons are starting to get complacent about the Covid-19 lockdown after traffic and mobile phone data revealed more people are on the roads and looking for directions
Britons were out in their droves as temperatures hit 26C (78.8F) on the South Coast, matching the temperature recorded in Treknow, in Cornwall, on Good Friday, making it hotter than Ibiza and St Tropez.
Hundreds flocked to London fields where Hackney police said they were powerless to stop those out enjoying the sun from drinking and eating pizza.
The exasperated force tweeted a picture of the packed park and said: ‘Sadly we’re fighting a losing battle in the parks today. Literally hundreds of people sitting having pizza, beers, wines. As always a big thank you to those that are observing the guidelines.’
In scenes replicated around the country, the Coastguard said that on Friday it had the highest number of call-outs since lockdown began, with 97 incidents, 54 per cent more than the average of 63 recorded for the previous month.
Traffic officers in Brighton were stopping cars at the end of the A23, which leads to the south coast seaside network, and officers fined visitors trying to visit for the bank holiday.