Only 35% of London residents fully support the current actions of the police during lockdown, according to a recent survey.
YouGov poll asked 1,646 adults between last Friday and Sunday for their opinions on police handling of enforcing the lockdown, with the results showing London as the least supportive area of the UK. This is despite the fact that London has seen the most coronavirus cases of any region in the UK and is said to be at least 2 weeks ahead of the rest of the country.
Police have been given the go-ahead by the Government to disperse crowds in public places and to hand out fines to anyone breaking the rules of lockdown.
He said: “Officers may have to ask people about their circumstances if they’re outdoors. We will engage with the public, explain social distancing regulations and the responsibilities we all share, and encourage those who are out without good reason to go back home”.
Officers approaching and giving clear advice to those who think sunbathing in groups whilst we have a national health emergency. We will continue to do our best for the public and the @NHSuk . Please don’t just sit in groups . #StayAtHomeSaveLives #CoronavirusLockdown pic.twitter.com/9Tw8kvA9lV— Shepherds Bush Green (@MPSShepherdBush) March 24, 2020
However, this does not seem to have deterred the residents of the capital with scores of Londoners being seen enjoying the sunshine in parks and open spaces.
Last Saturday saw 3,000 people in Brockwell Park, leading to Lambeth Council making the drastic decision to shut the park to members of the public, tweeting: “Despite clear advice, over 3,000 people spent today in Brockwell Park, many of them sunbathing or in large groups. This is unacceptable.”
Pictures of cyclists in London not adhering to social distancing continue to emerge, and the London Underground remains busy, suggesting that it is not only essential workers who are attempting to use this popular means of public transport in the capital.
British Transport Police have confirmed that they are stopping travellers and asking if their journey is essential with a statement from the BTP saying: “The role of our officers is to save lives, and this is something they do every day. Our approach in policing the legislation introduced by the Government is to do so by engaging with the public, and we continue to urge the public to do the right thing and help us save lives by staying at home and slowing the spread of the virus.”
Take a look a the Coronavirus stats page for London and the rest of the UK here!
Despite this resistance to the police enforcement of the lockdown rules, a previous survey by YouGov revealed that 93% of British people supported Boris Johnson’s plans for stricter lockdown measures that came into effect on March 23. These resulted in people only being able to leave their homes for work (if they cannot work from home), for basic necessities, and one form of exercise a day.
The recent poll revealed that Scotland is the most supportive of police enforcement, with 48% of respondents agreeing with current measures and 42% of the UK overall.
Only 14% felt that the police should take tougher action concerning those flouting the rules, while a mere 6% felt that their current approach is too heavy-handed.