Lancashire police boss says lockdown confusion is 'rife' and calls for more government guidance

Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner says that the challenge for police has been made even greater by the change in Government guidance and is urging people to use common sense and continue to protect themselves as much as possible.

By Jack Marshall, Reporter
Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 7:00 am
Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw
Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on Sunday night, which begun the relaxation of the lockdown measures, there was widespread confusion over the unclear guidelines not just for the public but for police as well.

"People have now been on lockdown for over seven weeks, some people even longer," said Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw. "The public of Lancashire have been hugely supportive of the efforts to control this virus but as we move into the next phase, confusion is rife.

"Whilst we must all take collective responsibility and the onus is now on individuals to make the right decisions, more clarity is needed from Government to ensure people can continue to play their part to reduce the spread of this virus and importantly understand when to call police with any concerns about people flouting the rules and putting others at risk," he added.

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"Lancashire Police, like forces up and down the country are still working through the detail of the announcement alongside the College of Policing and the Home Office to understand what changes there will be to legislation and therefore enforcement. However, Lancashire will continue to police by consent and take a common sense approach using the Four E approach, to engage, explain, encourage and enforce as a last resort.

"The focus will be on policing large gatherings; BBQs and house parties as people are given more freedom to move around the county," the commissioner said. "Whilst fines will be increased as a deterrent to reflect the increase in the risk of others of breaking the rules, these will continue to be used proportionately.

"The priority in all of this is to keep people safe – and that means continuing to stay home where possible and maintain social distancing when you're out," he continued. "We must not lose sight that we all still have our part to play to support the NHS and save lives."