Neil Basu warns police against 'overzealous' enforcing of lockdown

‘Your conduct will be remembered for generations’: Senior counter-terror officer Neil Basu warns police against ‘overzealous’ enforcing of coronavirus lockdown after peers slammed shaming of walkers with drones

  • Ex-High Court judge Lord Sumption and ex-terrorism legislation reviewer Lord Anderson are both critical
  • Officers have patrolled the country looking to break up picnics and parties to halt spread of coronavirus
  • Shopkeepers say police and environmental health officers have been in telling them what can be sold
  • The Association of Convenience Stores says that this has included warnings about stocking Easter eggs      
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Senior counter-terror officer Neil Basu has warned police against ‘overzealous’ enforcing of coronavirus lockdown, saying their conduct will be remembered for generations after peers slammed the shaming of walkers with drones.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu demanded that officers maintain the British tradition of ‘policing by consent’ as he emphasised the importance of earning the trust and confidence of the public.

But he stressed that individual officers shouldn’t be judged too harshly as they’ve been handed unprecedented powers that he never imagined police in UK being asked to use.  

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: ‘Everyone in policing is acutely aware that how we police this pandemic will be remembered for many years to come.’

It comes after police were yesterday accused  of being ‘overzealous’. One peer of heavy-handed interpretations of coronavirus advice, while another accused them of ‘over-enforcement’ – from banning shops selling Easter eggs to shaming walkers with drones.

Former High Court judge Lord Sumption criticised Derbyshire Police for having ‘shamed our policing traditions’ with ‘frankly disgraceful’ efforts of trying to shame people exercising in the countryside.

Officers have been warning shopkeepers not to sell Easter eggs as ‘overzealous’ enforcement as the lockdown continues and it was revealed forces are planning to cut arrests and ignore crimes because of the crisis.

Officers in several parts of the country have shocked retailers by trying to stop them from selling they consider non-essential, including chocolate gifts, even though there is no official guidance from the Government. 

Police officers from North Yorkshire Police stop motorists in cars to check that their travel is ‘essential’, following the Government’s Covid-19 advice to ‘Stay at Home’

Forces are sending anyone home not going to work or the supermarket or pharmacy – but there have been a number of examples of overzealous enforcement of new powers handed to them last week

Neil Basu (pictured) has warned police to consider how they conduct themselves while seeking to uphold the Government’s coronavirus lockdown guidelines 

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in the Government’s daily press conference that police should use ‘common sense’ in applying the rules, but also that the public should ‘follow the guidance, not just to the letter but also to the spirit’. 

In recent days:

  • Lancashire Police issued 123 fines for breaches of the rules over the weekend
  • Officers in Cheshire summonsed six people for various offences, including multiple people from the same house going out to buy ‘non-essential’ items.
  • South Wales Police hit out at MP Stephen Kinnock for visiting his father, former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, on his birthday
  • Derbyshire Police dyed the Blue Lagoon in Buxton black to deter groups of people from gathering at the beauty spot
  • The same force shared pictures on social media of queues of cars visiting the Peak District before the lockdown
  • No10 chief Dominic Cummings goes into self-isolation with coronavirus symptoms – days after Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock tested positive
  • A yob spat in a NHS worker’s face as she walks home after ten-hour shift and police Tasered a man who coughed on them and said he had coronavirus
  • Nurses are being forced to treat coronavirus patients ‘with no protective clothing, putting themselves and families at risk’, according to Royal College of Nursing  
  • But in better news Britain’s coronavirus outbreak is ‘starting to slow’ as rate of increase in hospital admissions ‘eases’, says government expert Neil Ferguson  

Lord Sumption told Radio Four’s World At One: ‘In some parts of the country the police have been trying to stop people from doing things like travelling to take exercise in the open country which are not contrary to the regulations simply because ministers have said that they would prefer us not to.

‘The police have no power to enforce ministers’ preferences but only legal regulations which don’t go anything like as far as the Government’s guidance.

Police officers from North Yorkshire Police stop motorists in cars to check that their travel is ‘essential’ in York yesterday


Former High Court judge Lord Sumption (left) criticised Derbyshire Police for having ‘shamed our policing traditions’, while former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation Lord Anderson (right) said reports of ‘over-enforcement by police and public are deterring the timid from exercising even the limited freedoms they have’

‘I have to say that the behaviour of Derbyshire Police in trying to shame people in using their undoubted right to travel to take exercise in the country and wrecking beauty spots in the fells so people don’t want to go there is frankly disgraceful.’

He added: ‘Derbyshire Police have shamed our policing traditions.’ Meanwhile former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation Lord Anderson said: ‘Police in their words and actions need to be clear about the difference between rules and guidance, both to maintain public confidence in their role and to discourage snoopers, snitches and vigilantes.

‘Serious breaches should attract fines, but news reports of over-enforcement by police and public are deterring the timid from exercising even the limited freedoms they have.’

The Association of Convenience Stores says some of its members have encountered ‘overzealous enforcement’, and James Lowman, chief executive of the trade group, told The Times: ‘This is a misreading of the rules. In the cases where officers have challenged retailers and shoppers in this way, it’s brought confusion, distracted retailers in the busiest weeks of their lives, and increased the interactions between people at a time when the government is trying to minimise them.’ 

Downing Street said police officers should use ‘their own discretion’ in enforcing the coronavirus lockdown measures – but the PM’s spokesman added: ‘If a shop is allowed to remain open, then it will of course sell whatever items it has in stock.’ 

It came as the UK’s police forces are heading towards ‘tipping points’ in the coronavirus crisis with a ‘graduated withdrawal of service plan’ set up, including a reduction in ‘essential critical activities’ including investigating all crimes. Staff sickness is the driving force behind the plan, with up to one in six officers now off work due to illness or self-isolation.

The Times has seen documents that show that officers will be moved to only answering 999 calls and investigating serious crime if forces reach ‘black status’ – only imposed at a time of national crisis. 

A senior source said: ‘If you get to black, the force basically can’t function. You will either have to call in the army or request aid from other police forces. It’s edge-of-the-cliff stuff. I fear we will reach black in certain parts of this country, which is unprecedented. It is possible arrests won’t be made. A suspect’s journey through the custody suite involves 12 different people. If a police force is on its knees they won’t be able to make those arrests.’   

Yesterday police set up road blocks to check people in cars or on bikes were on ‘essential journeys’ as Britain started its second week on coronavirus lockdown. And over the weekend officers broke up groups of more than two people on park benches, football matches in parks and one officer was dressed up in a Paw Patrol dog costume in Devon, where the force has set up road blocks. 

Lancashire Police issued 123 fines for breaches of the rules over the weekend, while officers in Cheshire summonsed six people for various offences, including multiple people from the same house going out to buy ‘non-essential’ items. 

The head of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, said yesterday that lockdown rules including fines and arrests should only be used as a last resort and made it clear officers should be ‘encouraging’ not over the top in their enforcement.

She told LBC yesterday: ‘We are all getting used to the new restrictions and I’ve been very clear that in the first instance I want my officers to be engaging with people, talking to people, encouraging them to comply. Explaining, of course, if they don’t understand – already we have had examples of people who simply hadn’t quite heard all the messages – and, only as a very last resort with the current restrictions, using firm direction or even enforcement.  

Police Scotland speak to walkers at Cramond, at the Firth of Forth west of Edinburgh, where officers were discouraging people from driving to walk

Police speak to drivers at Tynemouth beach, in the north-east of England close to Newcastle yesterday

A cyclist receives a telling off from a police officer in Richmond Park this morning after being caught cycling through the park which had been forbidden, except for NHS workers, since Friday

Police Community Support officers patrol Piccadilly Gardens in central Manchester and speak to a man about his journey

The Government is yet to issue official guidelines on what can be sold by convenience stores, newsagents and off-licences. But they have been deemed to be ‘essential’ stores which can continue trading.    

One of Britain’s most decorated judges, Lord Sumption, who retired from the Supreme Court in 2018, also criticised Derbyshire Police for having ‘shamed our policing traditions’ after the force chased walkers with drones.

He added: ‘The tradition of policing in this country is that policemen are citizens in uniform, they are not members of a disciplined hierarchy operating just at the Government’s command.

‘Yet in some parts of the country the police have been trying to stop people from doing things like travelling to take exercise in the open country which are not contrary to the regulations simply because ministers have said that they would prefer us not to.

‘The police have no power to enforce ministers’ preferences but only legal regulations which don’t go anything like as far as the Government’s guidance.

‘I have to say that the behaviour of Derbyshire Police in trying to shame people in using their undoubted right to travel to take exercise in the country and wrecking beauty spots in the fells so people don’t want to go there is frankly disgraceful.

‘This is what a police state is like. It’s a state in which the Government can issue orders or express preferences with no legal authority and the police will enforce ministers’ wishes.’ 

Lord Sumption added: ‘I have to say that most police forces have behaved in a thoroughly sensible and moderate fashion.

Coronavirus lockdown: Can you leave your home and what are your rights? 

– When did the laws come into force?

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 were introduced in England on Thursday at 1pm.

Similar versions of the laws were enacted in Wales at 4pm and in Scotland at 7.15pm on the same day, as well as at 11pm on Saturday in Northern Ireland.

– Why have the rules been enacted?

The England regulations state they are made ‘in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health’ posed by Covid-19.

– Can I leave my house?

According to the legislation: ‘During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.’

A reasonable excuse includes: getting food and medical supplies for yourself, members of the same household and vulnerable people, getting money, to exercise and for essential work.

You can also leave your house to: give blood, attend a funeral (in some cases), meet bail conditions, go to court and take part in legal proceedings, move house and to ‘avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm’.

But public gatherings of more than two people are banned apart from for members of the same household who are currently living together. There are some exceptions along similar lines as above.

How often can I go out?

The law does not specify – or limit – how many times per day someone can leave their house for any of these reasons.

The Government advice is to exercise once a day but the law does not say how many times a day this is allowed to happen.

– Can I go for a drive?

The Government urged people to ‘stay local’ when out exercising and only use open spaces near their homes where possible, keeping at least two metres apart from anyone they do not live with.

Some police forces said the public should not go out for a drive or use their car to travel to exercise.

But the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said there is nothing ‘definitive’ in the legislation on this, although it urged the public to be ‘sensible’.

The legislation does not address the use of cars or vehicles at all and does not forbid members of the public from using their cars to ‘go for a drive’ or travel to a location by car to exercise.

It states petrol stations, car repair and MOT services, taxi companies and car parks can all remain open, albeit with restrictions.

– Can I go shopping, and what can I buy?

The legislation says you can leave the house to obtain ‘basic necessities’ like ‘food’.

The law does not define what constitutes ‘food’ and does not specify what type of food, drink or other items are permissible when shopping.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘If a shop is allowed to remain open then it will of course sell whatever items it has in stock.’

The law says supermarkets, corner shops, off licences, hardware stores, pet shops and post offices can all remain open.

– What can the police do?

Officers can take action to enforce the requirements of the legislation if they ‘reasonably believe’ someone is in contravention as long as the decision is ‘necessary and proportionate’.

They can order someone to go home, leave an area, have the power to disperse a group and remove someone using ‘reasonable force, if necessary’.

Officers can also take steps to make sure parents are stopping their children from breaking the rules.

Police can arrest someone refusing to comply and issue £60 fines – reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days. The fine doubles to £120 for a second offence and would continue to rise each time to a maximum of £960.

Those who do not pay could be taken to court.

You could also be arrested for refusing to provide your name and address to avoid being given a fine.

The NPCC told forces to take a ‘common sense approach’ to policing the rules and use enforcement action as a last resort while Downing Street said police officers should use ‘their own discretion’ in enforcing the measures.

– What else do the rules say?

The law defines a vulnerable person as someone who is aged 70 or older, anyone aged under 70 who has an underlying health condition and anyone who is pregnant.

Underlying health conditions include: chronic long-term respiratory diseases like asthma, kidney and heart disease, hepatitis, Parkinson’s, diabetes, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, a learning disability or cerebral palsy, HIV, Aids, cancer, and obesity.

– How long will the rules be in force?

The emergency laws must be reviewed at least once every 21 days, starting on April 15, and will remain in place until they are scrapped by the Government. Ultimately they can expire after six months if not renewed.

‘Derbyshire Police have shamed our policing traditions. There is a natural tendency, of course, and a strong temptation for the police to lose sight of their real functions and turn themselves from citizens in uniform into glorified school prefects.

‘I think it’s really sad that the Derbyshire Police have failed to resist that.’

Downing Street said police officers should use ‘their own discretion’ in enforcing the coronavirus lockdown measures.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘The police will exercise their own discretion in the use of the powers which we have given to them and will take whatever steps they consider appropriate to disperse groups of people who are flouting the rules.’

Asked whether shops could continue to sell non-essential items, the spokesman said: ‘We have set out which shops can remain open. If a shop is allowed to remain open, then it will of course sell whatever items it has in stock.’

In response to some forces moving people on in parks, the spokesman was asked whether it was permissible to ‘take a breather’ on a bench during daily exercise.

The spokesman said: ‘The rules set out what you need to do, there shouldn’t be any gatherings of more than two people from outside any individual household and that people need to remain two metres apart.’

The Government had published a ‘clear set of instructions’ and ‘it’s for the police to exercise discretion over how they use the powers that are available’.

The head of Britain’s largest police force has told officers that new powers to enforce coronavirus lockdown rules should only be used as a last resort.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said her approach is to ‘help educate and encourage’ the public to comply with the tightest restrictions seen in peacetime in the UK.  

Officers in Warrington summonsed six people for various offences, including someone who went out for a drive because they were bored, and multiple people from the same house going out to buy non-essential items. 

Police have also been patrolling the country looking to break up picnics and parties with threats of arrest or fines of up to £60 for those are breaching social distancing guidelines. 

But rather than using their draconian powers to drag suspected lockdown louts to the cells, many forces have instead preferred to shame the culprits online in the hope of preventing further breaches.  

Dame Cressida Dick said yesterday her officers have ‘gently’ cleared gatherings of people when discovered and are not routinely stopping drivers.

‘We’re not doing what you might call road blocks or anything like that,’ she said. ‘Yes, we stop motorists sometimes, we have a conversation with them.

‘They might have a light out, we might talk to them, we might ask them about their journey. Our approach is one entirely trying to help educate and encourage people.

‘I think we’re all trying to get used to this. My approach in my service is one entirely of trying to encourage people, to engage with people, to have conversations with people.’

A police force which summonsed six motorists for going out for a drive during lockdown were yesterday accused of an abuse of power.

Warrington Police faced a barrage of criticism after they tweeted that they had summonsed six people for various offences over the weekend.

These included someone who went out for a drive because they were bored, people returning from parties, and multiple people going out to buy non-essential items.

The tweet stated: ‘Overnight six people have been summonsed for offences relating to the new corona virus legislation to protect the public:

‘These included; out for a drive due to boredom, returning from parties, multiple people from the same household going to the shops for non-essential items’.

But angry members of the public called their actions an ‘abuse of power’ and questioned the enforcement of these new Covid-19 rules.

Lewis, replying on Twitter said: ‘Seems you are trying to get the general public to hate you. This is a petty abuse of power’.

Police Scotland issued 25 fixed penalty notices over the weekend to people flouting the regulations introduced in a bid to stop people from spreading coronavirus in public places.

The new powers in the Coronavirus Act make it a criminal offence to flout the public health guidance on social distancing to prevent Covid-19.

On-the-spot fines of £30 can be issued to people who breach social distancing measures, rising to £60 if they are not paid within 28 days and capped at £960 for repeat offenders.

Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme that, despite the small number of cases where fines were issued, the vast majority of the public were complying with the new regulations.

Mr Graham said: ‘We issued 25 fixed penalty notices across Scotland over the course of Saturday and Sunday and I think that is strong evidence of how these extraordinary powers have had an impact in such a short space of time with communities across Scotland.

‘We’ve also received a significant number of calls, firstly from people asking how do we comply with these regulations and, secondly, reporting people they felt were breaching them.

‘We responded to those calls to make sure we could again explain why it was important, encourage people to comply with them, and in those very small number of occasions use the enforcement powers that we’ve got where that very small minority of people just refuse to comply with what is required’.

There has been anger on the clampdown over Easter Eggs as people argued there were essential in these grim times – and questioned why police and environmental health were getting involved in the first place

A police officer dressing up as a dog whilst enforcing the draconian lockdown measures 

The police are seen breaking up a football game taking place on Roath Rec in Cardiff over the weekend

In Derby, police gatecrashed a party and found 25 adults and children enjoying a large buffet and singing karaoke

When former Labour leader Neil Kinnock turned 78 on Saturday, his son Stephen, Labour MP for Aberavon, Wales, took to social media to share a heart-warming snap of their birthday meeting – sitting around six feet from his parents. 

But his Twitter post was picked up by South Wales Police – who said the meeting was in breach of government guidelines. 

A spokesman said: ‘We know celebrating your dad’s birthday is a lovely thing to do, however this is not essential travel.’ 

Mr Kinnock responded by claiming the travel was in fact essential as he was delivering ‘necessary supplies’ to his father and mother, former MEP Baroness Kinnock. 

Despite warnings, many Britons continued to flout guidelines yesterday and were criticised by police. 

In Derby, police gatecrashed a party and found 25 adults and children enjoying a large buffet and singing karaoke. 

Officers were ‘absolutely shocked’ by the enormous buffet and sound system when they entered the property in Dover Street, Normanton, at 10pm on Saturday.

Despite the scene, however, officers only gave those at the party ‘strong words of advice’ before dispersing the gathering. 

‘It is clear people are still having complete disregard for the Government advice and rules,’ a statement to Twitter added. 

Former Labour Leader Neil Kinnock and his wife, receiving food and a cake at a distance from their son Stephen – but South Wales Police shaming them

South West Police felt the need to warn Stephen that wishing his dad happy birthday did not count as essential travel but Kinnock replied that he was also delivering necessary supplies 

Neil’s son, Steven keeping a safe distance as he delivered supplies and wished his father Happy Birthday. After posting this image on social media he was contacted by police

Pictured: Former labour leader Neil Kinnock is visited by his son Stephen Kinnock and his wife Helle Thorning-Schmidt on his 78th birthday

Britons taking the law into their own hands to enforce coronavirus lockdown measures are at risk of committing ‘hate crimes’, a police chief warned yesterday.

The comments came amid a spree of vigilante reprisals on people breaking the country’s social distancing guidelines over the weekend by visiting beauty spots or town centres.

A businessman who was self-isolating at his second home in Devon was targeted by locals who daubed ‘go home’ on his car.

Police Taser man who ‘deliberately coughed over them’ after shouting he had coronavirus as they sat in squad car in north London 

Police yesterday Tasered a man who allegedly coughed over them after claiming to have coronavirus. File photo 

Police Tasered a man after he allegedly began coughing over them after claiming he had coronavirus. 

The Metropolitan Police firearms command said the man walked up to officers sitting in a car in Haringey, north London, and shouted that he was infected before deliberately coughing saliva all over them’.

He then began to physically attack the officers before he was Tasered and arrested, it was claimed yesterday. The suspect was later tested for coronavirus but came back negative. 

Last week director of public prosecutions Max Hill warned the public that using Covid-19 as a threat against emergency workers would be treated as a crime that could lead to up to two years behind bars.

Deliberately coughing at other key workers such as supermarket staff could be prosecuted as a common assault, which could mean up to six months in prison.

The crackdown follows numerous incidents of thugs targeting police and NHS workers with the sickening tactic.      

Yesterday, a paramedic who was helping an unwell patient was coughed at by another man who was self-isolating inside a house in Stroud, Gloucestershire. 

‘The man, a 43-year-old, was arrested, charged and remanded for assaulting an emergency worker by way of coughing and threatening GBH by infecting with Covid-19,’ an ambulance service spokesman said.

 

Tony Willis also found a leaflet on his doorstep in picturesque Bigbury-on-Sea saying: ‘Second home owners… stop being selfish.’

And signs with the slogan, ‘If you do not live here, go home’ were in the village’s car park.

But Devon and Cornwall Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer called for an end to this ‘unacceptable’ behaviour.

Mr Willis said he arrived in Devon before the lockdown to be near an elderly relative and decided not to travel home for fear of breaching non-essential travel guidance.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Willis – who has owned the second property for ten years –added: ‘This is harassment and in any other context would be considered a hate crime.’ Describing the behaviour towards Mr Willis as ‘shocking, horrible and unacceptable’, Mr Sawyer said he had witnessed ‘horrible incidents of hate crime’.

He said: ‘This is a family who are probably just as frightened and concerned as everyone else. If they are already here we should welcome them and make them feel part of our community.’

Amid the country’s limitations on socialising, neighbours are being encouraged to report incidents to the police.

And forces in Humberside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Avon and Somerset have created hotlines and online portals where tip-offs can be reported. But some locals have been criticised for deciding to take more direct action.

In Wales, furious residents trapped a Range Rover driver on a country road when it emerged he had travelled 115 miles from Sheffield to Snowdonia.

Locals Aled Wyn Williams and his friend Oswyn Roberts confronted the man on Saturday morning when they realised he was not from the area.

In footage recorded on a mobile phone, Mr Williams can be heard asking the driver: ‘What the hell are you doing here? Haven’t you got a television or radio?’

Police attended and said ‘suitable words of advice’ were given.

Farmers also joined the backlash by closing hundreds of footpaths running through their land. Despite having no authority to stop walkers using the paths, farmers are concerned that older workers are at risk so path closures are necessary.

Four people were reported to the police in Cumbria over the weekend for disregarding lockdown advice. One of these people – a 24-year-old man from Whitehaven – was ‘repeatedly’ seen in the town centre ‘with no reason’. He was returned to his home by officers.

But well-meaning locals in Liverpool were left red-faced on Saturday when they called police to investigate claims a comedy gig was in full flow – only for officers to discover it was a rerun being broadcast online.

Officers were ‘absolutely shocked’ by the enormous buffet and sound system when they entered the property in Dover Street, Normanton, at 10pm on Saturday 

North West Motorway Police said a driver had been caught making a 224-mile round trip from Coventry to Salford, Greater Manchester, to buy £15 windows on eBay (Pictured: The M6)

The driver’s wife was travelling in the boot of the car when they were pulled over by a motorway patrol on the M6 in Cheshire, according to a tweet by the North West Motorway Police Twitter feed

Yob spits in NHS worker’s face as she walks home after ten-hour shift

Sama Shali, 33, was spat at twice as she walked home from a 10-hour shift at The Christie Hospital in Withington, in Manchester. Fortunately two women were on hand to picture the yob

An NHS worker was spat at twice as she walked home from a 10-hour shift, as doctors and nurses are warned not to wear uniforms and to hide ID badges on their way to work.

Sama Shali, 33, fears she was targeted by the unidentified yob as she was still wearing her ID badge for the The Christie Hospital in Withington, south Manchester.

It comes as doctors and nurses around the country have been robbed of ID badges, cash and even a car in recent weeks.  

Sama stopped after she heard a man on a bicycle say something to her as she walked to a tram station in Didsbury.

She said: ‘He said something to me and I took my earphones out to hear what he said. I asked him if he could give me some space as he was quite close to me and then he spat in my face. 

‘I was so shocked and I told him I was going to ring the police. He just started circling me on his bike and then he did it again – he spat at my face again.’  

She added: ‘I am so grateful to the women that helped me. But I am so shocked and upset about it – I just don’t understand why it happened. I am scared he might have had coronavirus and wanted to spread it. I am scared that I could pass it on to my colleagues or patients’.

Twitter users, however, were more baffled by the eclectic 1970s-style buffet the alleged lockdown rule-breakers were enjoying.  

Derbyshire Police also broke up a picnic and shisha party where eight people were found chomping away on kebabs at Snake Pass in the Peak District on Thursday.

The individuals had travelled hundreds of miles from Manchester, Sheffield and Ipswich to meet, police said – who gave them a stern warning and sent them home.  

North West Motorway Police added a driver had been caught making a 224-mile round trip from Coventry to Salford, Greater Manchester, to buy £15 windows on eBay.  

But after picking up his purchase, the driver’s wife could not fit in the vehicle for the return journey to the West Midlands. 

She was travelling in the boot of the car when they were pulled over by a motorway patrol on the M6 in Cheshire, according to a tweet by the North West Motorway Police Twitter feed.    

And a tourist was stopped in Devon after driving his motor home from Birmingham. 

An officer said: ‘Birmingham to North Devon is not in the spirit of fighting the virus.’ 

Thugs also took up valuable police time by purposely coughing on officers and emergency workers while claiming to have contracted the virus. 

On Saturday Paul Leivers, 48, from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, was jailed for 12 months after spitting at police custody officers after saying he was infected.  

It comes as police faced accusations of ‘overzealousness’ from ex-MPs, lawyers and human rights groups.   

Shoppers in Teesside head to their cars after shopping at The Range and B&M on Sunday 

Another shopper stocks up on ’emergency’ supplies of plastic drawers and filing trays at the store in Stockton-On-Tees

One man appeared to have bought a canvas print of a reptile as another pushed a trolley containing a metal bin

A man in a face mask and a hi-vis jacket carries a thin cardboard box out of a shop in Teesside 

Officers have been accused of officious muscle-flexing since the Coronavirus Act received Royal Assent last week. 

This week, Derbyshire Police poured black dye into a crystal blue lagoon in the Peak District to deter people from making ‘non-essential trips’. 

In a Facebook post, Buxton safer neighbourhood policing team said: ‘No doubt this is due to the picturesque location and the lovely weather (for once) in Buxton. 

‘However, the location is dangerous and this type of gathering is in contravention of the current instruction of the UK Government.

‘With this in mind, we have attended the location this morning and used water dye to make the water look less appealing.’ 

Derbyshire Police dyeing the ‘blue lagoon’ in Harpur Hill, Buxton black, as gatherings there are ‘dangerous’ and are ‘in contravention of the current instruction of the UK Government’

The force says that people should not be heading to the Peak District to admire the sunset while Britain is in lockdown

Derbyshire Police sent up their drone and filmed people on ‘not essential’ trips to the Peak District including people posing for an ‘Instagram snap’

Alex John Desmond, who lives nearby, wrote on Facebook: ‘This is a joke, the way this force is acting is not representative of policing by consent which is the way the UK is meant to be governed. You should be ashamed of yourselves. 

‘You have taken something beautiful and damaged it.’ 

He added that the force was promoting a culture of ‘shaming’ individuals, claiming that he was shouted down on his first trip out since lockdown began.

Officers have been given powers to arrest people who are out of their homes on ‘non-essential’ journeys, with a three-strike fine policy which starts at £60 for a first offence, rises to £120 for the second and reaches £1,000.

Furious Welsh locals block Range Rover driver who had driven 115 miles from Sheffield to Snowdonia despite coronavirus lockdown 

By Raven Saunt for MailOnline  

A group of furious locals blocked a Range Rover driver after he travelled 115 miles from Sheffield to Snowdonia despite the coronavirus lockdown.

The man was spotted at around 10am on Saturday as he drove down country lanes near Bala in Gwynedd, Wales.

Aled Wyn Williams recorded the confrontation before police were eventually called to the scene. 

Mr Williams stopped the vehicle, along with his friend Oswyn Roberts, after realising that the driver was not from the area.

A group of furious locals blocked a Range Rover driver after he travelled 115 miles from Sheffield to Snowdonia despite the coronavirus lockdown 

The man was spotted at around 10am on Saturday as he drove down country lanes near Bala in Gwynedd, Wales 

He said he was angered by the lack of respect shown by the visitor when the pair stopped him on the road.

Mr Williams added: ‘[The driver] was heading away from Bala and the main road.

‘I drove along the road and stopped him. My friend Oswyn Roberts came along behind, blocking him in. 

‘He told me he called the police because he felt threatened.

‘I told him all we were doing was encouraging him to go home. If he hadn’t called the police, I would have done.’   

A sign erected near Pembrokeshire reads ‘non locals please go home #covid-19’

Signs have been erected across the country urging people to stay home and not travel, such as this one in Bala, north Wales

In the footage, a queue of vehicles can be seen in a standoff along a single-lane track surrounded by fields.

Sheep can be heard in the background as Mr Williams walks towards the driver’s side of the black Range Rover, which has a trailer in tow.

He points the camera at the man behind the wheel who also has a phone in his hand to take pictures. 

‘Keep active to aid immunity’ 

Regular exercise during the lockdown will help Britons maintain a healthy immune system, researchers say.

Keeping active while obeying social distancing advice can help us find and deal with pathogens plus slow the effect of ageing on immunity, they add.

A team at the University of Bath recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, such as walking, running or cycling.

They say those limited by a health condition or disability can still gain by aiming to move more and remember ‘something is better than nothing’.

Dr James Turner, from the university, said: ‘People should not overlook the importance of staying fit, active and healthy during this period.’ 

The study, in the journal Exercise Immunology Review, examined if exercise has a positive or negative effect on immunity.

Mr Williams then gestures down the road and says: ‘Your friends have just arrived…

‘What the hell are you doing here anyway? What the hell are you doing here?

‘Haven’t you got a television or radio?’ 

The clip cuts to another angle of the confrontation recorded by an onlooker.  

Mr Williams throws his arms into the air before storming back towards his vehicle, which is where the video ends.

The locals continued to block the route until police arrived at the scene.

A spokesperson for North Wales Police said: ‘Police were called at 10.12am to a report of a man being blocked on a country lane in Bala.

‘Officers attended and suitable words of advice were given.’

The driver of the Range Rover, who had driven 115 miles from Sheffield in an attempt to visit Snowdonia, was eventually asked to return home. 

Britons taking the law into their own hands to enforce coronavirus lockdown measures are at risk of committing ‘hate crimes’, a police chief warned yesterday.

A businessman who was self-isolating at his second home in Devon was targeted by locals who daubed ‘go home’ on his car. 

Tony Willis also found a leaflet on his doorstep in picturesque Bigbury-on-Sea saying: ‘Second home owners… stop being selfish.’ 

And signs with the slogan, ‘If you do not live here, go home’ were in the village’s car park.   

‘Bonkers’ officials try to stop Easter egg sales

 By George Odling for the Daily Mail

Overzealous council officers have been wrongly warning shopkeepers not to stock Easter eggs and other non-essential items.

Pictured: A shopper buys Easter eggs in Cainscross, Gloucestershire 

Government guidelines do not specify what stores are permitted to sell and corner shops, newsagents and supermarkets are allowed to stay open as normal during the pandemic.

But the Association of Convenience Stores accused some council officers of misinterpreting the rules and confusing shopkeepers with demands after four convenience stores reported being told to stop selling certain items.

Chief executive James Lowman said: ‘There is no government definition of which products can be sold within those stores. In the cases where officers have challenged retailers and shoppers in this way, it’s brought confusion, distracted retailers in the busiest weeks of their lives, and increased the interactions between people at a time when the Government is trying to minimise them.’

The trade body, which repre sents more than 33,500 shops, said it had contacted Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards officials, who confirmed that convenience stores can continue to sell all available products as normal.

‘We advise any retailer facing this challenge to continue selling their normal range and to contact us with the name of the local authority or police force and officer [who may try to stop them] so we can follow up,’ Mr Lowman added.

Retail analyst Richard Hyman said: ‘Quite frankly it sounds bonkers. This is a time when being excessively pedantic seems rather absurd.

‘It’s certainly right that if restrictions are going to be applied, they should be applied to types of outlet, not types of product.’

Shopper Olivia Alderson, 28, a theatre marketing manager from Streatham, south London, bought five Easter eggs from a convenience store last night.

She said: ‘It seems mad. Easter eggs bring joy and we need some of that now more than ever.’

 

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