Patrols to deal with Covid-19 regulation breaches due to high infection rate
Police in Hammersmith Broadway. Picture: Met Police
The Met has announced that it intends to send extra officers to Hammersmith & Fulham due to the high level of Covid-19 infections in the borough.
Dedicated patrols will target the most deliberate, dangerous or flagrant of breaches of the regulations, which risk putting the health of the community in danger. The only other borough in London where this is taking place is Hackney.
The police are understood to be concerned about the approach of the Halloween weekend which has in the past been associated with anti-social behaviour and an elevated level of crime.
As the rates of Coronavirus transmission vary throughout the Capital, the Met says it will continue to prioritise engagement and enforcement action in those boroughs which are worst affected by rises in infection rates, according to the latest localised data from independent analysis by Public Health England.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, the Met’s lead for Covid-19 response, said, “This approach does not mean that other areas of London will see a reduction in existing patrols to clamp down on rule breaking. However, in those areas of London where the transmission rate is at its highest, we will be doing our part to help shut down reckless breaches of the regulations.
“I know the vast majority of Londoners are sticking to the rules which are designed to keep everyone in our communities safe. But, there is a small minority who have a disregard for the health of our communities and it is those individuals who we will be targeting with these new patrols.
“We have been, and continue to listen to our communities and explain to them our policing approach, and have been regularly reviewing our deployment plan according to the latest infection rates by PHE.
“This remains under constant assessment and where we see an increase in reported cases we adapt our response to reflect that.
“Extra patrols have, this week, been deployed to Hammersmith and Fulham and Hackney, and we will continue to monitor the reported cases to ensure we are doing all we can, working with our communities, to tackle the further spread of this disease”.
As well as encouraging people to remain respectful toward the restrictions, officers will be deployed across the capital as part of the Met’s Autumn Nights campaign, to dealy with anyone intent on causing disruption and committing crime.
Violence and anti-social behaviour tend to increase at this time of year when the nights draw in earlier. A range of operational activity is planned over this period to intensify existing efforts within the Met.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Twist added, “Whilst continuing to adopt the 4 Es approach, engage, explain, encourage and enforce – those not complying with the restrictions can expect to see officers enforcing the legislation and fines more quickly than previously. People are now much more aware of the regulations and their responsibilities.
“We will always listen to our communities and seek to engage with them; throughout the period of lockdown, this is the stance we have been taking, however, we are now in Tier Two of restrictions and we have a responsibility, alongside our partners including PHE and the government to ensure people are kept safe and so will be moving more quickly onto enforcement as previously seen.”
Londoners are asked to report serious breaches to the police via the 101 telephone system or using the online reporting system. However, the Met has issued a reminder that there are a number of exemptions to the rules which may apply to any situation so an apparent breach may not be what it appears and not every call may generate an immediate police response.
October 29, 2020