• David Williams

Policing of the Lockdown

Another frequent question I have had is whether I think the Police should be enforcing the lockdown regulations and imposing fines.

I support any measure taken by the government which is deemed and demonstrably necessary on the basis of expert and informed advice which aims to protect lives, livelihoods and maintain the rule of law. This will inevitably involve difficult decisions balancing competing considerations with huge attendant risks associated with whatever course of action is taken. I therefore accept that, particularly given the benefit of hindsight it may appear that some decisions were flawed. We are bound to accept that provided those decisions were taken in good faith.

The role of the police in enforcing legislation passed by the government in relation to the pandemic is the same as for any legislation; they have a duty to enforce the law and I would expect them to do so in a proportionate manner while fulfilling their legal obligations.

I do however consider that there have been too many examples of what might be termed bad law having been introduced over the past 12 months, with insufficient scrutiny having been applied and where implementation has been at best hurried, giving Police leaders little or no notice of what they are then expected to work to and enforce.

Where this happens it can only serve to undermine public trust and confidence and make policing unnecessarily difficult. That is not acceptable no matter how exceptional and challenging these past 12 months have been for our legislators.

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