Bach into lockdown – again!
This is not the start to the New Year that any of us wanted – here we are back in Lockdown Mark 3, new restrictions on our way of life as we battle the latest COVID19 surge.
Sadly, there’s no choice. It’s more important than ever before that we stick to the rules, both in practice and in spirit. The rapid rise in positive tests, the number of hospitalisations and the record number of deaths show how serious things are getting.
Much has been said this week about the need for clarity. What are the rules? Is this law, or is it just guidance? Well, firstly, I would suggest that people fall back on common sense – if it feels wrong, it probably is. Second, if you aren’t sure – check. There are links to this information on many websites. Third, now is most definitely not the time to put things to the test.
The police have been placed in an impossible position by the Government. Of course, they will enforce the law where necessary, but the bewildering mix of law and guidance make their vital job exceedingly difficult. Officers are being asked to decide what is ‘reasonable’ and what isn’t. Let’s make their job easier.
The police can’t win. If they issue a fine, half the population applauds, the other half starts grumbling about a police state. Dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t.
That’s why I continue to call for clarity from the Government. The police normally receive extensive training when the law changes. But these are not normal times. According to one study, the ‘rules’ have changed over sixty times since March. Some officers won’t even have returned from their rest days before a new change is introduced.
We are asking too much of the police. Frontline officers are working in what can only be described as dangerous conditions, interacting with people potentially infected with COVID19. There is no such thing as a socially distanced arrest!
Therefore, I believe that the vaccination programme should be prioritised for frontline officers and staff. They need protection – not before those most vulnerable in our society, but ahead of those who can work safely from home. The Chief Constable and I wrote to the Home Secretary to argue this case. If you feel like adding your voice to this, please do.
So, to conclude this first blog of what is, right now, a less than happy new year; please, on behalf of your loved ones, families, friends, and communities, stay at home and follow the rules and the guidance. Those who flout the rules must expect consequences. They will only have themselves to blame.
Lives really do depend on this. The new strain is everywhere. The figures are more than alarming. Stay strong, stay safe.
Posted on Friday 15th January 2021