Police urge Brits to snitch on neighbours breaking coronavirus lockdown
Cops have urged Brits to snitch on lockdown-busting neighbours – as thousands ignore the tough new coronavirus social distancing rules.
Police forces in Humberside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Avon and Somerset have all set up dedicated hotlines to make it easier to report rulebreakers.
Officers were forced to clear parks packed with sunbathers this week despite Covid-19 has claiming the lives of 759 people in the UK.
One brazen gang were even caught tucking into kebabs and puffing away at a shisha pipe after travelling across Britain for an afternoon in the Derbyshire hills.
Avon and Somerset’s chief constable Police Andy Marsh blasted: “I want to make it clear, we will be enforcing these new measures when new legislation comes in, which will allow us to disperse groups of more than two people.
“If they don’t disperse, they could face a fine.”
Humberside police say they have experienced surge in social distancing reports, putting a strain on the 999 and 101 call centres.
Their new online reporting system has been set up to reduce the pressure on the call centres while providing a platform to report an issues around social distancing.
Chris Philpott, head of the force control room, said: "We know the vast majority of people are following the guidance issued by the Government in relation to gatherings.
"However, we are aware there will be individuals who choose not to adhere and understandably, people do want to report this type of behaviour to us as it is risking lives.
"The online portal has been developed precisely for reports of this nature, where groups have been seen gathered, and has a dedicated team who will receive the report as soon as it is made.”
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Chief Constable Nick Adderley said the Northamptonshire Police control room has received "dozens and dozens" of calls about people ignoring the order.
He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service his officers would issue penalty notices if necessary, but wanted to educate the public first.
"We are getting calls from people who say 'I think my neighbour is going out on a second run – I want you to come and arrest them'," he told the BBC.
"We have had dozens and dozens of these calls," he added.
Despite growing concerns about the spread of the virus people have still been crowding into to Britain's parks and beaches to take advantage of the fine weather.
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