The chair of London‘s Metropolitan Police Federation has said that the police should not be charged with overseeing face mask rules and that shopkeepers needed to “take some responsibility” for their customers.
Ken Marsh hit out at the UK government plans to make the wearing of face masks mandatory in shops, insisting that it is farcical that officers may end up driving round the capital looking for ‘offenders’.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the wearing of face masks in shops will be made complsory on 24 July and that responsibility for enforcing the rule would lie with the police.
RT reports: During an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Tuesday, Ken Marsh – who represents police officers in the UK capital – claimed it would be “nigh-on impossible” to enforce the new requirement on face masks, due to come into law in England on July 24. People who do not comply with the new law face being stung with a £100 fine.
Marsh insisted that it shouldn’t be left to police to oversee yet more coronavirus pandemic rules and suggested that shopkeepers must “take some responsibility” for their customers. The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation said that by the time officers get to the scene, perpetrators will most likely be long gone as shopkeepers do not have powers to detain.
“We’ll be driving round and round London looking for people who weren’t wearing masks, it’s absolutely absurd.“
However, it appears the buck passing has already started, even before face coverings become mandatory. Some retailers have voiced their concerns at the idea shop workers may have to confront shoppers who are not abiding by the new law.
Peter Cowgill – chairman of UK clothing chain JD Sports – believes that it shouldn’t be down to his employees to enforce the law. He told BBC Radio 4 that the government’s “inconsistencies and the indecisiveness” in announcing the policy, as coronavirus cases reduce to low numbers, make the situation trickier, claiming that many people will be put off shopping in stores.
The government itself has been facing a mixed response to the new rule, with many Conservative Party members claiming they will cut up their membership cards over the issue.
According to Metro: Alistair Haimes, a data analyst and owner of a private investment company, said he hadn’t seen any evidence of the benefits of face masks and objected to ‘being told what to do’. He continued: ‘All it is, it’s very transparently that they think that people will be more confident to go back to shops and offices if they wear them than if they don’t.’
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