United Kingdom

WATCH: UK Police chief says, if officers can’t arrest people under the coronavirus bill, we will find other reasons: “We have wide-ranging powers”

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Northamptonshire chief constable has threatened to arrest people who “flout” coronavirus restrictions, despite the coronavirus bill not granting police such powers.

Chief constable Nick Adderley told Sky News on Thursday that although the coronavirus bill only allows police officers to issue fines, officers can use “the wide-ranging powers” they’ve been given to arrest individuals for other reasons, such as anti-social behaviour.

“We’ve stepped things up here, because we’ve given the public three weeks to get used to this. This is a massive change in terms of their lifestyle and how they can operate. We’ve worked on the basis of engagement and information, and from today, I’m being really clear that if people continue to flout the law then they will be fined and, if appropriate, they will be arrested…”

When the host asked if the police actually had the powers to make arrests, Mr Adderley replied: “Not under the coronavirus bill. The coronavirus bill is fairly clear in terms of the fines, but what we do have of course is the wide-ranging powers that police officers have in carrying any case.

“So, when people break the law in terms of anti-social behaviour or in public order and the link to coronavirus then actually they will get arrested for that offence and they will be charged with that offence under coronavirus or COVID bill offence 2.”

Mr Adderley also warned that if the public does not heed police warnings, they will start to marshal supermarkets and perform trolley-checks to make sure people aren’t purchasing items they personally deem non-essential.

“We will not at this stage be starting to marshal supermarkets and checking the items in baskets and trolleys to see whether it is a legitimate necessary item, but again, be under no illusion, if people do not heed the warnings and the please that I’m making today, we will start to do that.”


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