South Yorkshire police boss backs lockdown enforcement tactics used by officers

South Yorkshire’s police boss has given his backing for the lockdown enforcement tactics used by officers in the county.

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 7:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 7:57 am

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said officers will used ‘persuasion’ initially to encourage people to adhere to lockdown measures imposed by the government earlier this week.

But he said they will use ‘enforcement’ if necessary if people ‘behave unreasonably and wilfully’.

Dr Billings, who is responsible for overseeing the way South Yorkshire Police is run, funded and performs, said: “South Yorkshire Police are skilled at dealing with crises and adapting quickly as situations develop. We saw that during the recent floods.

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South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings

“Their current approach, which I fully support, is to ensure that the public heed the government’s call to stay at home in order to reduce the impact of COVID-19 and to support the NHS.

“They will do this by persuasion, and only if people behave unreasonably and wilfully will enforcement be necessary.

"If this becomes the case I have no doubt that they will have the full support of the public, not least those that work in the NHS and those with relatives who may be affected by the virus.”

The latest Public Health England figures, released yesterday, revealed that Sheffield had 130 confirmed cases - more than anywhere else in Yorkshire.

Four people diagnosed Covid-19 in Sheffield have died so far.

Doncaster now has 13 confirmed cases, while there are 15 in Barnsley and 16 in Rotherham.

The UK’s death toll stood at 422 yesterday.