A message from Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar

Published: Thursday, April 9, 2020

The South West Borough Commander for the Metropolitan Police has written the following message to the public. 

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I am writing to provide a brief update around the new COVID19 regulations, particularly in the context of some media coverage over the weekend across the country.

Whilst the vast majority of people adhered to the government advice to remain at home, a number did not. On the South West BCU, we received over 400 reports of breaches of Coronavirus regulations this weekend. Such breaches included people sunbathing in parks, having picnics, or playing group sport such as football.

The extra officers we had out on patrol in parks and open spaces engaged with many people. They explained the restrictions, dispersed groups and directed people to return home where appropriate. The vast majority of people engaged and responded to police positively.

This week will encompass Passover and the Easter bank holiday weekend. The weather is forecasted to be fine and we anticipate that people might again be tempted to visit parks and open spaces. As such, we are currently working on a policing plan to respond to such a situation. Our officers will continue to focus on engaging with people, explaining the legislation and encouraging people to return home and will only use enforcement as a last resort.

Thank you for your continued support.