The Met continues to work with local authorities to help enforce COVID-19 legislation.
The Metropolitan Police and London boroughs have signed up to a partnership agreement to assist in the enforcement of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) Regulations 2020 and amendments. The report covers the key principles of the joint approach between London boroughs and the Met.
Police officers, alongside council officers and council wardens will work together to ensure members of the public comply with the legislation that came into effect on Monday, 14 September.
The Met will continue with the 4E’s approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging members of public to follow with the regulations. If people refuse to comply, only then will officers take enforcement action.
Local authorities will take primacy for enforcement activity around closure of licensed premises as well as restriction of access to public places. The new legislation prohibits gatherings of more than six people, unless exemptions apply. It is the responsibility of those wanting to attend or organise any large gathering to take personal responsibility to ensure they are complying with the regulations and keeping themselves safe.
To find the regulations, look on line at www.legislation.gov.uk.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, leading the Met's response to COVID-19, said: “Londoners have made enormous sacrifices during the response to this virus and this partnership approach is designed to target those who continually flout the rules. It isn’t fair, and all of those who have tried hard to stop the spread of the virus rightly expect us to do something.
“The council officers and wardens will be able to feed intelligence and work with businesses and licensed properties to ensure the legislation is complied with. Where necessary and proportionate, we can enforce the legislation, either by Fixed Penalty Notice or arrest.
“The majority of the public continue to comply with the rules and appreciate the risk that COVID-19 poses. By working together with local authorities, those who continue to break the rules, be they individuals or businesses, can expect to have their illegal gatherings dispersed and face the consequences of business closures or fines.”
Cllr Danny Thorpe, London Councils’ executive member for Crime and Public Protection, said: “With coronavirus cases increasing across the capital, Londoners must pull together and do the right thing. This means abiding by the regulations to protect our communities, families and loved ones.
“London boroughs are working hard to inform residents and businesses about the regulations, explain what to do to keep themselves and others safe and provide support if needed.
“However, if businesses or individuals persistently flout the rules and put other people at risk of coming into contact with COVID-19, London boroughs will not hesitate to take firm action, working with our Metropolitan Police partners.”