Nine Met Police officers have been fined for breaching lockdown rules to meet at a cafe while on duty
Pictures emerged online showing the officers, from the South East Basic Command Unit, eating at The Chef House Kitchen Cafe, Greenwich, on 9 January.
All nine officers have been issued with a £200 fixed penalty notice.
This comes after the NHS is considering plans to discharge it’s patients into hotels as the nation’s hospitals become packed with COVID-19 patients, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has now confirmed, saying that it was “impossible to know” how long the nation-wide lockdown restrictions might last.
Ch Supt Rob Atkin, said: “It is right that they will pay a financial penalty and that they will be asked to reflect on their choices.”
“Police officers are tasked with enforcing the legislation that has been introduced to stop the spread of the virus and the public rightly expect that they will set an example through their own actions.”
“It is disappointing that on this occasion, these officers have fallen short of that expectation.”
The group were spotted by a member of the public in the Greenwich cafe while their patrol vehicles were parked outside.
Under current rules, cafes and restaurants are only allowed to provide a takeaway service.
Mr Jennings, who reported the breach, told MailOnline: “We noticed in the first lockdown and again today that regularly, first thing in the morning, there will be half-a-dozen squad cards outside and every table full of police officers having breakfast in there.”
“You read about people getting fined and it seems hypocritical as it looks like there is little social distancing in the cafe.
“I find the regular and continued flouting of social distancing and lockdown regulations by the police hypocritical and foolish at this time when the infection rates in Greenwich borough are among the highest in the UK.”
The study came Matt Hancock, the UK’s Health Secretary, has been in close contact with somebody who tested positive and will be working from home until Sunday. He revealed he is self-isolating for the next six days after being “pinged” by the NHS coronavirus app.
Photographs of apparent uniformed officers sitting inside the Chef House Kitchen, with several marked police cars parked outside, were published by MailOnline.
Their bosses launched an investigation and chose to fine them without any other disciplinary action.
They may be the first on-duty emergency workers to be given fixed penalty notices since the first pandemic lockdown began in March last year.