Christmas is not a crime

A police and crime commissioner has warned that officers may enter homes to break up festive gatherings.


Topics Covid-19 Politics UK

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In flagrant disregard of liberty, privacy and the law, a police and crime commissioner has said officers could enter homes to break up parties at Christmas.

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) October 27, 2020

David Jamieson, commissioner for the West Midlands, told the Telegraph that ‘if we think there’s large groups of people gathering where they shouldn’t be, then police will have to intervene’ and ‘enforce’ the law.

The commissioner for Merseyside, Jane Kennedy, has also warned that if banned gatherings are reported, ‘the police will investigate’.

The environment secretary George Eustice has joined in, too, saying that ‘if we do need to have restrictions in place and prevent families from coming together in large gatherings if that’s necessary to control the virus, that’s what we’ll have to do’.

This is absurd. After months of enforced separation, people cannot be expected to spend Christmas in isolation. The idea of police breaking up Christmas parties is an outrageous attack on freedom.

But not only that – such police behaviour would also be illegal. As human-rights barrister Adam Wagner has pointed out, police have no right to enter private homes without a warrant, regardless of what tier of Covid regulations an area is under. They cannot simply turn up, demand entry and start separating people. Police and crime commissioners must surely know this.

During the Covid pandemic, police have regularly overstepped reasonable limits. They have, for example, distributed numerous fines on dubious or non-existent legal grounds.

If senior police staff do not understand the law, how can they be trusted to enforce it?

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Covid-19 Politics UK


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