You did, after all, open up special hotlines and websites. You did, after all, beg for people to report ‘covid19 lawbreakers’ on every social media channel you run.
Sara Glen, a deputy chief constable who is part of the NPCC’s leadership tackling coronavirus, said: “We have members of the public who are coming in on the phones and [via the internet] to report where they’ve got concerns either at gatherings of people that they can see from their locations, or if they think people aren’t adhering to the regulations and that’s actually putting them at risk.”
Officers have been accused at times of heavy handedness for setting up checkpoints, shaming people with drones and in some cases getting confused by the new laws, leading to people being wrongly prosecuted or fined.
But Hewitt said so far 0.02% of population had been fined – around one in every 5,000 people – supporting the impression of large-scale adherence to the lockdown, and police leaders believe their policy of enforcement being a last resort has worked.
It’s already starting to fray. And all it’s done is bring the police into more disrepute amongst the law-abiding than they were before.