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Iran Press TV

Divisions emerge between police and government over lockdown rules

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 12 January 2021 7:04 PM

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to exact a terrible toll on the health and lives of British citizens, there are signs that divisions are forming between senior police officers and the upper reaches of government over the management of the crisis.

The chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) has stuck his neck out by implicitly blaming the government for not setting out clear lockdown rules for people to follow.

Speaking at a Downing Street news conference, Chief Constable Martin Hewitt, complained that a "small number" of people are "still refusing to follow the rules" during England's third Covid-19 lockdown.

Hewitt said that police forces across the UK have issued almost 45,000 fines for various breaches of Covid-19 rules.

The NPCC chairman cited specific "irresponsible behavior", including a boat party in Hertfordshire that was attended by more than 40 people, by way of an example.

"Organizing parties or other large gatherings is dangerous, selfish and totally irresponsible in light of the current threat that we face", Hewitt warned the public.

However, Hewitt was contradicted, albeit implicitly, by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, who insisted the lockdown rules were "very simple and clear" in addition to being "tough enough".

Patel, who was addressing the same news conference, claimed "most of the public" are following the rules and only a "minority" of people are endangering public health by disregarding guidelines.

The public spat between a senior Police officer and the Health Secretary unfolded on the same day it was announced a further 1,243 people have died of Covid-19 in the UK.

In addition, there have been 45,533 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection UK-wide.

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