Q1008: What action can the police take if people are not following the rules / laws during the Coronavirus emergency?
New powers have been given to the police, to use during the 'emergency period'.
Officers are advised to officers are engage, explain and encourage members of the public to abide by the rules before using enforcement measures.
A constable, police community support officer (PCSO) or other designated person can issue a prohibition notice to a person if they are failing to comply with the new rules, to prevent that person from continuing with their actions.
Where a person is away from their home without reasonable excuse, a constable, PCSO or other designated person can direct them to return to their home, or remove them to their home (using reasonable force if necessary).
Where there is a gathering of three or more people in a public place, a constable, PCSO or other designated person can direct the gathering to disperse, direct any person in the gathering to return to their home, and remove any person in the gathering to their home (using reasonable force if necessary).
Failing to comply with the new rules is an offence and can result in a fine. Where a person aged 18 or over is believed to have committed such an offence, a constable, PCSO or other designated person can issue a fixed penalty notice.
Social distancing does not form part of the law and therefore cannot be enforced (other than in Wales in respect of workplaces).
The 'emergency period began on 26th March 2020. An end date has not yet been specified, but this is being reviewed at least every 21 days.