As cases of Coronavirus continue to increase across the capital, the Met will be stepping up its response to target those who continue to flout the regulations, which are designed to keep Londoners safe.
The announcement comes ahead of London’s local alert level being increase from “medium” to “high” at 00:01hrs on Saturday, 17 October.
Across all of London’s 32 boroughs, the key new restrictions on top of those already in place, are:
• People must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space.
• People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.
• More information on the restrictions are available at www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-high
As these new measures are introduced, Londoners can expect to see additional patrols by officers to discourage and deal with breaches of the regulations. A key area of focus for officers will be targeting evening periods near bars and pubs, where breaches of the regulations are more commonly recorded.
The Met will continue to use the ‘4 Es’ approach of engagement, explaining the regulations, encouraging people to following them and only enforcing as a last resort. Alongside London’s local authorities, the Met will also work to take tough action against licensed premises who put customers at risk by breaching the regulations, or by not maintaining the COVID Secure guidelines.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, Met lead for Covid-19, said: “This is a critical moment in London’s fight against this deadly virus and over the coming weeks I know the vast majority of Londoners will make the right decisions in order to keep themselves and their families safe.
“Frustratingly, we have seen a small number of dangerous and reckless breaches of the regulations and as the alert level in London increases, we are adopting our policing approach. Communities across London can therefore expect to see an increase in our efforts to deal with the most deliberate, harmful and flagrant breaches of regulations. We will not hesitate to take action against those individuals or businesses who put people at risk.
“As we move into this new phase of heightened alert, I would urge people across the city to work with us. By each of us being responsible, we can help minimise the transmission of the virus and help keep London’s most vulnerable communities safe from harm.”
Londoners are asked to report serious breaches to us via the 101 telephone system or using our online reporting system. However, we should all bear in mind 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.