Officers need clear guidance on lockdown

31 March 2021

The secretary of Dyfed Powys Police Federation has urged the Welsh Government to provide clear guidance for members do their job properly when lockdown restrictions are next eased.

Roger Webb said it’s up to officers to enforce new rules but that they are often introduced at short notice and without clarity for the public and the police.

He explained: “Our message to the Government is police officers need clearer rules which can be enforced fairly, and the public need clearer instructions so that they know what they are allowed to do within the law.”

His comments come ahead of a review of lockdown measures by the Welsh Government tomorrow (Thursday).

It is expected to announce that all pupils in schools, colleges and other education will return from 12 April, and that non-essential retail and close contact services will also re-open on that date.

“Whenever changes to lockdown rules and restrictions are changed, it’s our frontline colleagues who have to enforce them – often at very short notice,” Roger said.

“Officers have continued to meet the challenge since the first lockdown 12 months ago, and will continue to do so.

“This is an important phase in the battle against Covid-19 as the vaccination programme continues and lockdown restrictions start to ease.

“And our members need the support of our political leaders with clear messaging for the public so that they know what they can and can’t do within the law.”

Roger’s comments come after the national chair, John Apter, appeared on Good Morning Britain and Sky News.

John was discussing lockdown easing in England which began on Monday. Changes to guidance included groups of six people or a group of any size from two households can meet outdoors and the resumption of organised outdoor sports activities.

He said: “There are obviously differences between the English rules and those from the Scottish and Welsh Governments, so there is Organised outdoor sports activities can resume, as can outdoor childcare, and some confusion and we’re used to that. The problem is that this causes frustrations and my colleagues bear the brunt of that out on the streets. 

“There’s been an awful lot of confusion about what’s happening, and that is why I am calling on the Prime Minister and the devolved governments to be crystal clear on the guidance.” 

John also repeated his call for police officers and other frontline workers to be prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine, saying: “We have some large scale events coming up in the coming months where hundreds, if not thousands, of police officers will be deployed around the country and yet none of them are being prioritised for the vaccine. It’s a real betrayal by the Government.”