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Have the UK police been given too much power?

It has been over a month into the lockdown period now and we are all feeling the effects of not going outside.

We are all so uncertain about the road ahead, what will our economy be like when this is over? How will this change our futures?

On the day that the pubs closed, I sat with my dad over our last pint, watching the staff and their grim expressions, not knowing when they would be going back to work.

I remember during our conversation, that I reiterated that we must keep a close eye on the government and by extension the police, as times like these can lead to the abolishment of freedoms, in the guise that it is in fact necessary.

Credit, ‘Mic’ Flickr

However, though I completely understand that the lockdown is necessary and is saving lives; mostly thanks to the spirit of the public, I do believe that when you start harassing people and threatening fines for sun-bathing, perhaps you might be over stretching your badge a little.

Now let’s be honest, we have all seen the pictures and videos of people in the park enjoying the sun.

Some might call that a gross risk to life, I on the other hand don’t.

The people are keeping their distance, after all the rule is to keep 2 metres apart, the majority of the people, at least who I saw and see on my daily walk, are up to five metres, or more, apart from each other.

Now that is not to say that I am endorsing all of the behaviour I see, such as people casually meeting up and walking around with their friends and constantly moving from house to house.

But I do believe that there is a line to be drawn.

It seems time and time again we hear a new story or watch a video of a bold officer telling a family or an individual to not go into their front garden, effectively intruding on private property to scold someone that is doing no harm.

In strange new times like these, it is inevitable that the government is going to struggle when it comes to making sure the public plays by the rules.

However only a couple of weeks ago, Chief Constable Nick Adderley, threatened that the police would begin searching the public’s trolleys to make sure that they were buying essential items. I believe that this is unacceptable.

It got to the point where Downing Street had to reassure the public that they could buy whatever they wanted from the shops ans did not need to fear police interference.

Of course, police or no police, it is important to readdress that you must keep to the social distancing guidelines that the government has laid out, including:

  • Keeping 2 metres apart from people that are not from your household
  • Keep travel essential and do not go out and see your friends etc
  • Do not leave the house if you show symptoms of the virus (dry cough or fever) for 7 days

As the necessary lockdown drags on, it is important not to lose sight of our freedom, and to keep a close eye on it once this is all over.

Let us know what you think.