In London, a taskforce of 500 officers questioned passengers about their journey in a bid to cut the number of people on public transport. Some commuters were told: ‘we don’t want to see you tomorrow’ as police began a series of checks at rail and tube stations in centra London and the suburbs, ITV reported. The move came as Transport for London announced a third of its workers were off sick or self-isolating. Staff shortages led to further cuts in the number of tube trains and a warning from mayor Sadiq Khan of even fewer in the days ahead.
‘Police confused over enforcement of coronavirus lockdown rules on the British public’, the Telegraph reported. Derbyshire Police launched “proactive” patrols that included cars equipped with loudhailers ordering people indoors. The force said it would not flinch from breaking up builders working too close together, failing to add that most builders are forced to continue showing up – without proper health instructions.
But other forces contacted by The Telegraph are pursuing a more “softly softly” approach, unwilling to fine people caught breaching the coronavirus lockdown.
Durham and North Yorkshire Police launched spot checks on those venturing outside, the local Darlington and Stockton Times reported, to tackle a minority of people who are ignoring stark government warnings to avoid non-essential journeys. In an unprecedented action on key routes and town and city centres, they questioned people about their reasons for not being at home, as senior officers tried to press home the importance of social distancing and isolation due to the Coronavirus crisis.
The move comes ahead of emergency legislation that is expected to give police enforcement powers to issue fines over is expected to become law the same day.