Police Federation calls for ‘joined-up action’ on Covid enforcement
As COVID cases rise and the Department of Health seeks to strengthen enforcement action against those who are not complying with public health guidance, Chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI), Mark Lindsay MBE, says police cannot be expected to solely carry the burden of Covid-19 enforcement.
Mr Lindsay said:
“Organisations other than the police have responsibilities to uphold the legislation. The smoking ban is largely enforced by the retail and entertainment sectors.
“Only on very rare occasions are police called in to deal with breaches of the peace where people wilfully ignore the instruction from staff. The same should apply to Covid regulations.
“There is a collective responsibility by Ministers to deliver on enforcement. Efforts to make the Department of Justice the main enforcement department are misplaced. Others, too, such as public transport and entertainment and retail sectors must work in unison to deliver effective enforcement.
“There will always be a place for police officers should matters escalate and intervention is necessary to support staff, but they cannot be expected to carry the burden alone.
“Only concerted, joined-up action will deliver for the entire community. Anything short of that will fail to deliver desired outcomes.”