Home Office Warns That People Ignoring Lockdown Rules Could Be Arrested
The Home Office has issued a warning to people continuing to ignore the government implemented lockdown rules amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Sky News, people flouting the orders will be breaking the law and could be arrested by police under new public health regulations strengthening police enforcement powers in England.
Officers have the powers to tell people to go home, leave or disperse an area and ensure parents are taking necessary precautions to make sure their children are being stopped from breaking the law.
According to the Telegraph, the people who refuse to comply with the rules could be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £60 ($72), which will be lowered to £30 ($36) if paid within 14 days.
Those who become second-time offenders could then be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £120 ($145) - the amount will double for each repeated offence.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "The Prime Minister has been clear on what we need to do: stay at home to protect our NHS and save lives.
"All our frontline services really are the best of us and are doing an incredible job to stop this terrible virus from spreading.
"That's why I'm giving the police these new enforcement powers, to protect the public and keep people safe."
The warning comes after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that anyone using coronavirus (Covid-19) to threaten emergency workers could face serious criminal charges which are punishable with up to 12 months in prison.
The intervention comes after reports in recent days of police, shop workers and vulnerable groups being deliberately coughed on by people claiming to have the disease.
A press release from the CPS read: "Such behaviour is illegal and assaults specifically against emergency workers are punishable by up to 12 months in prison."
Putting it bluntly, stop coughing on people.
:x:STOP IT: The CPS is appalled by reports of police and others being deliberately coughed at by people claiming to have coronavirus.
This is not only vile but illegal and we will not hesitate to prosecute people for it.
- CPS (@cpsuk) March 26, 2020
Max Hill QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, said: "Emergency workers are more essential than ever as society comes together to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
"I am therefore appalled by reports of police officers and other frontline workers being deliberately coughed at by people claiming to have Covid-19.
"Let me be very clear: this is a crime and needs to stop. The CPS stands behind emergency and essential workers and will not hesitate to prosecute anybody who threatens them as they go about their vital duties."
Featured Image Credit: PA