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HomeLockdown anniversary: 15,000 fines handed out by Met to rule breakers

Lockdown anniversary: 15,000 fines handed out by Met to rule breakers

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A senior Scotland Yard officer today reflected on huge challenges faced by police over the past 12 months on the anniversary of the first lockdown.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors said most Londoners had responded “admirably” to the “unprecedented and deeply worrying”Covid-19 crisis.

Nine Met officers and staff were among the more than 15,000 in the capital who died with the disease.

In an article for the Standard DAC Connors, the Met’s strategic lead for Coronavirus and violent crime, wrote: “Today marks one year since the Prime Minister announced a lockdown to control the spread of Coronavirus.

“A year later, the lockdown restrictions remain. However, infection rates are falling, the vaccine rollout is underway and we all eagerly await the easing of restrictions over the coming months.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors / Metropolitan Police

“We reflect and remember those who sadly lost their life to the virus over the past 12 months. Tragically, nine members of the Met policing family lost their life while battling Covid-19.”

She added: “In March 2020, we were all told to stay at home. This was an unprecedented and deeply worrying period – but Londoners responded admirably.

“Countless lives have been saved because people understood the urgency and adhered to the rules. I would like to thank the vast majority of people who did the right thing.

“Frustratingly, a small minority ignored the rules and continue to do so.

“Some 15,000 fixed penalty notices have been issued by Met officers for breaches of the regulations. I’ve been saddened to see some of the ways people have taken to flagrantly ignore the rules.

“As people lay in hospital beds, others held large house parties or raves in abandoned warehouses.

Met Police

“Enforcement of the regulations is always a last resort, but we have done so because of our absolute determination to keep London safe.”

Looking forward, DAC Connors said the government’s road map to easing lockdown is positive news but warned against breaches that could undermine sacrifices.

“We share Londoners’ eagerness to return to normal, to see our theatres and hospitality sectors reopen and to again see the streets of the capital bustling.

“We do not underestimate the many challenges this return to normal will bring, but the Met is ready for these challenges.

“Right now, we must all make the right decisions in order to ease out of lockdown at the earliest opportunity.

The Met’s first all-female operation on International Women’s Day in March / Metropolitan Police

“By breaking the rules and taking unnecessary risks, this could undermine all the hardship people have gone through to drive the infection rate down.

“That is why I call on Londoners to keep up their efforts. Every contact limited is a life potentially saved.

“Of course, police cannot fight crime or protect the vulnerable by working at home.

“In the last year, as others stayed at home to protect the NHS and save lives, police officers were in communities, responding to emergencies and rooting out violent crime, the Met’s number one priority.

“Over the past 12 months, serious violence has reduced by 26per cent across the capital. This is in part due to impact of Covid-19 and officers proactivity suppressing violence.

“As we ease out of lockdown, the visibility in communities and relentless effort to keep London safe will remain steadfast.”

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