A UK police chief has called it a “civic duty” to snitch on neighbors and businesses that violate COVID-19 restrictions while criticizing the culture that condemns such tattle tailing.
On Wednesday, Merseyside Chief Constable Andy Cooke condemned the ‘sneering culture’ against those who tip-off police when he told the Daily Mail that if Brits carry out their “civic duty” of snitching on those who refuse to follow the martial-law-esque social and economic restrictions imposed by government, they “will save lives.”
“People are doing a civic duty in contacting us for the right reasons,” Cooke said.
“The vast majority of people across the country are really concerned about this. Any information that you can give us in relation to breaches will save lives, and that’s why people are doing it.”
Cooke’s words follow the decision of West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson to break up any Christmas celebration that violates government lockdown restrictions.
“If we think there’s large groups of people gathering where they shouldn’t be, then police will have to intervene. If, again, there’s flagrant breaking of the rules, then the police would have to enforce,” Jamieson said.
After adding that “it’s not the police’s job to stop people enjoying their Christmas,” the Crime Commissioner stated that this would not stop the police from following orders.
“However, we are there to enforce the rules that the Government makes, and if the Government makes those rules then the Government has to explain that to the public.”
Jamieson says he believes that public “frustration” with decisions to spoil Christmas celebrations could boil over into civil unrest.
Meanwhile, National Police Chiefs Council chairman Martin Hewitt says it’s expected there will be ‘quicker enforcement’ of flagrant rule breaches.
The Mail reports:
For example, officers who are called to a large party in a private house or garden would give people a chance to leave but fines would be issued if they refused. The organisers ‘would be dealt with every time’, he said.
He said ‘flagrant breaches’ likely to attract fines included pubs serving past 10pm.
Mr Hewitt said: ‘With those kind of egregious breaches, which are putting everybody at risk, it is perfectly legitimate for a member of public to share that share that information.’
Encouragement from UK police to rat on those who breach COVID lockdown restrictions is nothing new.
In September, Police Minister Kit Malthouse encouraged reporting neighbors gathering in more than groups of six, labeling it a viable option.
“There is obviously the non-emergency number that people can ring to report issues, if they wish to,” the minister told the BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ show.
“If people are concerned, if they do think there’s a contravention, then that option is open to them.”
In October it was revealed that West Mercia Police had asked taxi drivers to snitch on passengers they suspected of beaching lockdown rules.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council also reported in March that close to 200,000 calls had come through a “snitching” hotline with reports of Brits breaking COVID related restrictions.
Despite the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s admission that the COVID-19 death rate in England lags far behind the recent spikes in new cases, top government scientists are pressuring ministers to impose even tighter restrictions on the public ahead of Christmas.
Social media reacted to the most recent snitching news: