Sheffield people speak out on the idea of reporting neighbours for breaking the rule of six
People have been encouraged to report their neighbours who flout the new rule of six by policing minister Kit Malthouse, but it seems that a lot of Sheffield Star readers wouldn’t feel comfortable doing this.
We asked our readers to let us know if they would be happy to call the police if they saw their neighbours gathering in a group bigger than six – which is now not allowed under a new lockdown rule introduced by the government on Monday.
The majority of people who commented on our post, on both Facebook and Twitter, said they would not. Here’s what just some of you said.
Lauren Chante said: “l No way, just mind your business and get on with your day.”
Ian Nicholson said: “Not on your nelly, neighbours are always there when I need them. When I need my MP, they’re nowhere to be seen. I can go to church with 30 relatives but I can't have the same 30 relations in my home or garden. So the question is, does this government actually know what there doing?”
Loreen Salleh said: “No because it's a incomprehensible rule and the government are just trying to make it look like they're doing something.”
Jo Clarke said: “No, but sadly couldn’t guarantee my neighbour feels the same way.”
Shahidur Jahangir said: “Love thy neighbour. If it’s a serious breach then have a friendly word. Otherwise get on with your own life.”
Claire Behan said reporting neighbours wouldn’t help to continue the sense of community spirit that has been built during lockdown.
She said: "That's so not going to help with building communities, it's just snitching, and no one likes a snitch.”
Nat Reaney said that neighbours should be looking out for each other, not reporting each other. To make the point, she listed just some of the things she would have to do if the relationship with her neighbours soured.
She said: “I'll take my own parcels in, watch my own house and take my own bin out while I'm on holiday, I'll lend myself a drop of milk or a cup of sugar when I run out, I'll help myself shovel snow off the street and grit in the winter, I'll play Socially Distanced street bingo with myself and celebrate things like VE Day alone, I'll make sure I keep an eye 24/7 for being burgled or car being broken into.... I could go on.”
Other readers felt the choice was not straightforward and while they wouldn’t report their neighbours in most circumstances there were some instances in which they would.
Patricia Oliver said: “I wouldn’t. However if it affected me and my family personally I sure would. If they have no respect for their own health they have no respect for anyone else’s.”
William McAllister said: “No, but if there's 30 or more people having a house party I might be tempted.”
Oliver Spindlow said: “If they had 7 or 8 people in their house no, if they had 50, probably.”
Geoff Smith said: “As ever it is a matter of judgement and balance. If there were 7 of them in the garden including two young children then it would be nasty and a waste of police time. If they were having a house party with 40 then I would regard it as a public duty.”
Some readers, however, said they would definitely report any flouting of the rules – even from those who live next door.
Anthony Wilson said: “Absolutely yes, I have worked all throughout this and adhered to guidelines to protect my family.”
Jackie Cutts said: “Neighbours should have respect and stick to the rules.”