PSNI federation responds to calls for more enforcement of the Covid law

The Police Federation has responded to calls for officers to do more to enforce Covid regulations.

The PSNI officers’ union said they “cannot be expected to carry the burden alone.”

The Federation fired back after Justice Minister Naomi Long raised concerns over a proposal by her department to “take the lead” in managing compliance around face coverings to help fight Covid-19.

A health document suggests the DOJ should oversee plans to increase compliance levels above 80% as the wearing of masks among the public is phased out.

She said the proposal was “totally inappropriate,” the BBC reported.

Ministers are meeting this morning, Monday, November 22, to discuss the document.

Last week, the Department of Health warned that unless cases drop significantly over the next three weeks, more “severe” restrictions may be needed before Christmas.

Reacting to the calls, the chairman of the Police Federation of Northern Ireland, Mark Lindsay, said that “the police cannot be expected to bear the burden of enforcing Covid-19 alone”.

He added: “Organizations other than the police have a responsibility to enforce the law. The smoking ban is widely enforced by the retail and entertainment industries.

“It is only on very rare occasions that the police are called in to deal with public order violations where people willfully ignore staff instructions. The same should be true for the Covid regulation.

“Ministers have a collective responsibility to ensure the application of the law. Efforts to make the Ministry of Justice the main enforcement agency are misplaced. Others too, such as public transport and the entertainment and retail industries, must work in unison to ensure effective enforcement.

“There will always be a place for the police if the going gets tough and intervention is needed to support staff, but they cannot be expected to carry the burden alone.

“Only concerted and joint action will be beneficial for the entire community. Anything less than this will not produce the desired results. “

Retail groups, however, have expressed similar concerns that store workers also cannot enforce measures such as wearing masks.

Give your opinion on the vaccines passports below, or Click here.

To receive the latest news straight to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter here.

About Michael C. Lovelace

Check Also

Mayor of Palm Bay, Medina honors law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty

Palm Bay Police Corporal Frank Tobar died in 2019 due to complications from COVID-19 Palm …