The former head of Greater Manchester Police has responded to reports that gatherings could be limited to 10 people from two households as lockdown rules are relaxed.

Sir Peter Fahy told the BBC’s breakfast programme that “The police do not want to get into the game of having to count how many people are in a house and where they have come from.”

He added:

“If there’s things like ‘do it yourself’ warehouses opening, that’s fine, but police don’t want to be called to have to deal with disputes in the queues or anything like that.

“I think it’s really important as more activities open up, which is really important, that those businesses and organisations in effect police it themselves.”

Asked how police forces will deal with the eventual relaxation of social distancing measures, Sir Fahy said: “Policing will be very nervous about this phase. About things like more and more shops opening.”

Sir Peter said there had been an “incredible level of compliance” from the public in regard to following guidelines on social distancing.

However, he added: “A lot of forces have seen a big increase in complaints from the public, complaining about neighbours, complaining about what they see as breaches of the regulations.

“Police have struggled real to deal with that. They want to concentrate on the bigger gatherings and making sure that rules are observed in the park, so they remain open for people to exercise.”

He later tweeted: Not sure about the idea that the police might have to count how many people are meeting up and how many different households they are from if rules on the size of gatherings are relaxed”


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