Police will not fine people over ‘confusing Covid lockdown rules’

Police are focusing on fining people over blatant breaches of new Covid-19 restrictions rather than "confusing" new household mixing rules, senior officers have said.

The UK’s police force has had to grapple with enforcing five coronavirus rule changes over the past seven months, leaving the general public in a state of confusion.

Speaking to MPs on Wednesday, two of the most senior officers enforcing Covid-19 were unable to clarify whether households must not mix indoors in Tier Two areas, The Telegraph reports.

Assistant chief constable, Owen Wetherill, said he was unable to give a "definitive answer" as there are "so many different variations."

He said handing out fines risk alienating the public who are "tired of Covid and tired of being told what to do" and are starting to see the police as "doing the bidding of the Westminster elite."

Mr Wetherill said: "Handing out more fines to people who are genuinely confused is just going to alienate the public, who are already tired of Covid and tired of being told what to do.

"There is also a danger, especially in the north of England that the police are seen as doing the bidding of the Westminster elite, and it is never good when the public begin to see the police as agents of the state."

Andy Rhodes, the chief constable of Lancashire, a Tier 3 area, said the rules are so complex the force are focusing on handing out fines to "blatant breaches," such as raves, and not to people who are "genuinely confused."

Mr Rhodes said: "We should not be fining people for being confused about whether they can have two people in the house or not.

"We are focused on clear breaches."

He went on to tell MPs he has told officers they don't need to be an "expert" straight away and are allowed to be "as confused as other people."

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Mr Rhodes said: "We have tried to tell them they don’t need to be an expert on all this sort of stuff within the first 24 hours.

"They can be as confused as other people."

The police chief said his force would issue fines only for clear offences such as organising an illegal rave to sell drugs or throwing a party with 70 guests.

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