Home U.K. Military join police to enforce tough coronavirus lockdown over Easter weekend

Military join police to enforce tough coronavirus lockdown over Easter weekend

Police and military force will form joint boat patrols in the southwest coast. Authorities are warning people not to violate the lockdown during the weekend after the UK saw a record number of coronavirus deaths.

Police forces have faced criticism over “heavy handed” lockdown enforcement.

Downing street has warned police after an officer tweeted that they were patrolling inside supermarkets against non-essential shopping.

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The Cambridgeshire police post stated that officers had visited a Tesco at Barhill to make sure people were following social distancing regulations, and that “the non-essential aisles were empty”.

The prime minister’s spokesman said: “We set out a list of shops which could remain open and if the shops are on that list then they are free to sell whatever they have in stock. Obviously provided it’s legal to do so.”

Military and police join forces to patrol over Easter weekend (Image: Getty)

Social media users then took to Twitter to criticise the move, adding that officers’ time could be spent on other issues.

A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said that officers were not controlling the supermarket as it had its own security personnel.

He reassured that police officers would only go into supermarkets if there was an incident or if supermarket staff called them.

Cambridgeshire police said that the original tweet had been made by an “over exuberant officer”.

READ MORE: How ‘untenable’ Coronavirus has exposed fragility at heart of the EU

Police forces have faced criticism over ‘heavy handed’ lockdown enforcement (Image: Getty)

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They added: “For clarification, the force position, in line with national guidance, is that we are not monitoring what people are buying from supermarkets.”

The officer’s original post has since been deleted.

In South Yorkshire a police officer was filmed admonishing a parent for allowing their children to play on their property’s front garden.

The South Yorkshire force said that the encounter had been “well intentioned but ill informed”.

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Authorities are warning people not to violate the lockdown despite the nice weather (Image: Getty)

The officer told the family: “You do not want your children getting the virus, it does not stop in front of your garden.”

Police in Durham told cyclists in a tweet: “If you haven’t got blue lights on your bike, you probably shouldn’t be on the roads this weekend.”

One user replied: “Errrm, cycling is a form of exercise. Or what if people are going shopping?”

In Brighton police near sea front used loudspeakers to give warning messages and deter visitors.

Paul Netherton, deputy chief constable of Devon and Cornwall police, said: “We are working with the Ministry of Defence police this weekend.

In Wales road blocks were put in place to keep tourists out of seaside towns (Image: Getty)

“Their marine fleets from bases in Portsmouth and Plymouth will be operating along the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall coastlines ensuring people do not gather unnecessarily on beaches. They have tannoy and can tell people to move on.”

In London, Camden Council and the Royal Parks joined together to paint signs on the grass at Primrose Hill that read: “Stay 2m apart, protect the NHS,” ahead of the nice weather that might prompt large gatherings.

Council officials in Bournemouth taped off seafront seats, while 2,000 beach huts are shuttered.

In Wales road blocks were put in place to keep tourists out of seaside towns.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority announced: “We’re closed.”

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