Police forces have threatened an Easter crackdown amid fears Britons will violate lockdown measures during this weekend’s heatwave. However, there are growing concerns that some forces are taking the lockdown too far, after footage emerged showing an officer telling a dad that he could not sit in his own front garden. South Yorkshire Police apologised for the “ill-informed” action, which was filmed by the man in question from his doorstep.
When told that the advice contradicts the current guidelines, the officer replied: “I cannot speak for anybody else. You know when you look around and there’s nobody out? It’s because you can’t come out.
“It’s not me, it’s the government. 1,000 people died yesterday. I’m asking you to go indoors. Are you refusing to go indoors?”
Despite the officer’s orders, current Government guidelines allow people to spend as much time as they like in their own gardens during the lockdown period.
The social distancing measures must only be observed if the gardens border public paths or roads, according to the Government.
In response to the video, Alexander Stafford, MP for the local Rother Valley, said: “This is clearly not right.
“Whilst cannot see full context of the video, people are of course allowed to be in their gardens – front or back – and should be allowed to continue to do. This is clearly an overreach!”
Home Secretary Priti Patel has urged police not to be “heavy-handed” while enforcing the lockdown over Easter weekend.
This comes after Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley said he will begin taking action since the three-week “grace period” is over.
The officer threatened to “marshal” supermarkets – including checking the items in baskets and trolleys to see if items shoppers had bought were a “necessity”.
Ms Patel hit back at these comments: “That’s not appropriate. That is not the guidance, that is not down to the measures we have been adopting thus far.
“That is not what the police are there to do.”