Officers require Covid Regulations to give certainty
The Police Federation for Northern Ireland is arguing for the removal of doubt to assist officers who are policing the Covid lockdown.
PFNI Chair, Mark Lindsay, says officers must have the certainty of Regulation to back up their actions and make the task of combating the spread of the virus more effective.
Mr Lindsay said: “Most people are willing to comply, but there is nothing officers can do if some choose to ignore the guidance they are given at road stops.
“Of course, there will always be a case for guidance, but officers say that guidance needs to be strengthened and placed into tougher Regulations.
“Only then will officers be able to order people to return to their homes or run the risk of a fixed penalty notice. Only then will officers have the backing of law to support the actions they take on the roadside or elsewhere.
“It beggars belief that some people wilfully ignore the advice that’s offered. However, they’re not breaking any law when they thank officers for the guidance they are offered and plough on regardless.
“For the minority who flout the guidance, the police must be given full enforcement powers to order them to do what they should be doing anyway, and that is staying at home and not leaving the house unless for permitted activities.
“For as long as we don’t see guidance turned into Regulation, we will have abuses. The minority is laughing at wider society and they should know that their behaviour will not be tolerated.”