A UK police chief has stated that cops will break up Christmas celebrations that defy government COVID-19 lockdown rules, a decision he fears could spark civil unrest.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson told the Telegraph newspaper on Tuesday that any flagrant breaking of government enforced social distancing measures during Christmas festivities would cause a response from police.
“If we think there’s large groups of people gathering where they shouldn’t be, then police will have to intervene. If, again, there’s flagrant breaking of the rules, then the police would have to enforce,” Jamieson said.
“It’s not the police’s job to stop people enjoying their Christmas,” the police chief would add before explaining that his duty is to follow the orders of the government.
However, we are there to enforce the rules that the Government makes, and if the Government makes those rules then the Government has to explain that to the public.
In September, the UK put in place “the rule of six” that makes it illegal to gather in groups of more than 6 people, with a few exemptions – celebrating Christmas not being one of them.
The West Midlands is currently under Tier Two lockdown measures which state that Brits must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
Jamieson believes that public “frustration” with the decision to spoil Christmas celebrations could boil over into civil unrest as UK lockdown measures have been weighing on the people for months now.
“We’re sitting on a time bomb here,” he said. “We’re getting very near the stage where you could see a considerable explosion of frustration and energy.”
Things are very on the edge in a lot of communities and it wouldn’t take very much to spark off unrest, riots, damage.
Frustration with the decision was expressed immediately with parallels being drawn to actions of Nazi Brownshirts and calls for Brits to “rise up”:
@Telegraph West Midlands Police will go into people's homes at Christmas & break up families. It is time The police in Britain start to wear Brownshirts, they are behaving like Brownshirts so if the shirt fits! Whilst murder rape & violence off the Richter scale and ignored
— Mary Hook (@Gormengast1) October 27, 2020
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner "It's not the police's job to stop people enjoying their Christmas. However, we are there to enforce the rules that the Government makes". Everything before the however is bill. These petty Hitler's are enjoying their new powers
— Degsy Roberts (@degsyroberts) October 28, 2020
#covidcops raid a church in Cardiff to enforce lockdown. West Midlands police commissioner says they will smash their way into family homes on Christmas Day.
— Nick Griffin (@NickGriffinBU) October 28, 2020
Police reveal new Christmas uniforms pic.twitter.com/EXxuWsAKHt
— Steve Bishop (@Stevebi27465893) October 28, 2020
I will not be following anymore Lockdown rules at all anymore and I will be doing what I want at christmas etc police do nothing about Loads protests that happen every singe day across London and in other towns and cities in the uk and police did nothing about the luton mosque
— Jake Wright (@JakeWri38029870) October 28, 2020
Over the weekend, 18 people were arrested during an anti-lockdown protest that gathered outside Buckingham Palace. The BBC reports that the arrests were made due for a variety of offenses, including breaching coronavirus regulations, assaulting an emergency service worker and for violent disorder.
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