Enforcing UK’s Restrictions as Lockdown Eases ‘Not Manageable,’ Says Metropolitan Police Federation

March 2, 2021 Updated: March 2, 2021

Britain’s police officers don’t want to enforce residual CCP virus restrictions as the country eases out of its third national lockdown, the chairman of a major police staff association reportedly said on Sunday.

“Police don’t want to police this,” said Ken Marsh, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF), according to The Telegraph.

“We have had enough of this. It is not policeable. It is not manageable,” he said.

Amid reports that people have already started to congregate ahead of lockdown measures relaxing, Marsh explained that in order to move close to people to disperse or arrest them, police officers themselves need to break social distancing restrictions on a daily basis.

However pending legal advice, unless police are vaccinated, he threatened to tell the MPF’s 32,000 members to instead stick rigidly to the two-meter (6 feet) rule, The Telegraph said, which would result in resistant rule-breakers not being apprehended.

London Protest
A woman is detained by police officers as protestors from the Million Mask March and anti lockdown protesters demonstrate, amid the CCP virus outbreak in London, on Nov. 5, 2020. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

The MFP is calling for the police to receive vaccines as one of the country’s priority groups.

On Monday it launched a scathing condemnation of the government for not agreeing to this.

“The Prime Minister and Home Secretary have shown unforgivable contempt for police officers by snubbing them for any level of priority for the COVID-19 vaccine,” the MPF said in a statement.

“It’s absolutely disgusting. … Police officers are catching and dying from COVID-19 because of their job and yet we are still not being given the protection the vaccine offers,” Marsh said.

“It’s like we don’t exist,” he added.

Marsh’s criticisms come after the government last week followed advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that vaccines against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, should continue to be rolled out to groups in descending age order.

Restructuring vaccine distribution to immunize people in specific occupations would slow down overall deployment, the JCVI said.

‘Our Job is Unique’

Marsh, however, said the police are a special case.

“Our job is unique, and we deserve the highest levels of protection. And we deserved it weeks ago,” he said.

“We cannot police from two meters [6 feet] away. We cannot do what we do from a social distance,” he added.

The Home Office said in a statement that it had “nothing to add to what the JCVI have announced about vaccine prioritization.”

UK police arrest virus protesters
Police officers detain a protestor during an anti-CCP virus lockdown demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on Jan. 6, 2021. (Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images)

Commenting on whether police should robustly enforce restrictions as lockdown rules are lifted, former Detective Chief Inspector Mike Neville told The Epoch Times that they should not.

“I’m a big human-rights … a big fan of freedoms and civil liberties,” he said, adding that the police should avoid cracking down too much.

“That’s not British policing at its best,” he said.

“And when all this lockdown ends, the police are going to have to go back to normal,” he added.

He also said that for 150 years UK people have favored the “friendly British bobby model.”

By way of illustration, he recounted the experience of a Jewish child who was brought to safety in England in the late 1930’s.

“Her comment was that the policeman smiled,” Neville said.

“And I think that’s a lovely vision … where she came from these awful automatons—you know, arresting and bullying people. And when she got off that ship, the first thing she saw—the policeman smiled.”

“And I think that we the British police should always live up to that,” he added.

The Metropolitan Police meanwhile said in a statement that Londoners should “stick to the rules” and that the police would carry on enforcing them.

“While the Government’s roadmap contains positive news, now is not the time for complacency,” the Met said.

“Officers across London are continuing to take action against rule-breakers, adopting the ‘Four Es’ process of engaging, explaining, encouraging, and then enforcing.”