Over zealous policing and under zealous policing

I am sure that many police officers have been policing the Covid-19 restrictions in the UK responsibly and lawfully.

That cannot be said of everyone. Consider these comments from the Chief Constable of Devon Cornwall:

Asked about the guidance around travelling for exercise, Mr Sawyer suggested getting in the car to travel for exercise should be “exceedingly rare” in Devon and Cornwall, which is largely rural. “I’m expecting too many people to get Covid-19 and die if we carry on. That’s what I’m expecting. So let’s not make that happen,” he said. …

The Chief Constable is clearly proposing to put people in his cells for doing something which is not against the law. The Regulations are clear: there is no restriction on how far you can go to exercise and how you get there. [1]

The Chief Constable is confusing the ‘guidance‘ with the law. He can of course claim in his defence that the government has set him up for this confusion by issuing two parallel strands of instructions – guidance and law. Nonetheless really he should be able to tell the difference.

Over-zealous and legally uninformed police officers (I am talking about at a senior decision-making level) over-applying the coronavirus restrictions is one of the more unsavoury aspects of this crisis.

Meanwhile the government is getting away with murder in plain sight. That is – you may be thrown in the cells for driving to a beauty spot to exercise. But release thousands of untested and potentially infected people into care homes – undoubtedly directly leading to thousands of avoidable deaths – and then do this again 10 months later and you don’t have to worry at all.



  1. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/350/contents/made

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer